Bee Keeping in Kenya

After consulting with many beekeepers around the country, there is a noticeable trend where most people start beekeeping projects and give up in a few months.

Here are some reasons why most beekeeping projects do not materialize. This is purely based on my experience on the ground.

Things don't go wrong; they start wrong, just like everything else in life (from relationships to business).

Beekeeping is a long-term commitment.

Huge short-term profits are the only thing that motivates the majority of people. This doesn't happen with beekeeping.

Purchase of substandard equipment.

Most people will always go for the cheapest beehives available, which aren't always the best quality and have high rates of absconding either due to disintegration of the hive or the hive being uncomfortable for the bees. Buy or build good hives.

Lack of proper checks.

In cases where some farmers buy very good equipment,most will not conduct proper and regular hive inspections. The hive needs to be checked and cleaned at least once a month. Otherwise, you will keep losing your colonies to pests such as spiders and wax moths.

Not building relationships with your bees.

Bee colonies are very different and have very unique behaviours and personalities. As a farmer, you need to know each hive very intimately. It's the same as having cows or dogs, each of which is unique. Dont generalise. Keep records for each hive.

Not taking care of the environment.

Bees need a peaceful, clean, and calm environment to thrive. There are farmers who leave their apiaries unattended for long. If you want happy bees and good-quality honey, fix and nurture the environment where you've placed your hives.

Never give up! Most people give up within months of starting beekeeping. Keeping bees will teach your patience. Look at beekeeping as a long-term project and be willing to learn from your mistakes.

It is found that most beekeepers finally start to get the hang of beekeeping after a year of diligence and consistency. The first few months are brutal, and it also takes a while to get used to being 100% calm around bees. Keep interacting with your bees and loving them, and watch magic happen.

Finally, invest in good training.

A good one-day course is enough to get you started. Get a good mentor. Someone you can reach out to when you feel lost Find yourself a beekeeping buddy and walk the journey together. Be okay with making mistakes.

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