Traditionally beekeeping was largely viewed and practiced by the elderly, honey was used for different purposes, including, as part of dowry payment in some communities. This trend has largely changed and a commercial orientation is building up. Individuals and firms are engaging in beekeeping and trading in hive products as either alternative sources of income or as a way of livelihood.
A beekeeper will need about Kshs 150 to produce a kilogram of honey while the same quantity will retail at about Kshs 600-700 when value-added. Beekeeping is not labor-intensive neither does it require a lot of technical skill. Basic information on apiary siting and management is enough to be a commercial beekeeper. The margins are impressive thus making beekeeping an unparalleled lucrative venture one can engage in. Whilst the demand for honey and other hive products in the Kenyan market is on the increase at about 15% per annum, the production side continues to perform dismally contributing about 20%, causing a significant demand gap filled through imports.
Beekeeping can be practiced in most parts of our country, basic factors to consider are; availability of water and vegetation, bees will require vegetation to forage on and water to live. These two basic factors are the most important for honey production.
Anyone can be a beekeeper regardless of gender and special needs, modern beekeeping demystifies traditionally held practices and makes it easy for women, youth, men, and persons enabled differently to comfortably and commercially engage in beekeeping.
Agrisafe Kenya Limited comes in handy to support new and old beekeepers in practical ways to transform their ideas or practice into viable commercial ventures.