Mikoko Project: Conservation & Resilience of Kenya's Mangrove Forests

Capacity building through community-based technologies in beekeeping

A Mikoko team visited the KWETU TRAINING CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT to conduct beekeeping training from November 9th to 13th, 2020. The team included Joan Nelima W. (Master student), Kennedy Wafula Otoi (field technician) and 3 villagers from Pate Island and members of the CBO “Pate Resource and Tourism Initiative” (PRATI) Abdudi Muhemed, Saidi Bakari Hamza, Mohammed H. Kassim, did discoveries on the biology of bees, on the different types of hives, also on the various bee products and their uses.

There were two main objectives for this training:

  • To give knowledge and skills on the management of bee colonies and bee hives to maximize economic benefits through improved production of honey and other bee products.
  • To understand bee keeping challenges and ways to overcome them through learning and sharing experience

Honey Products & their uses

The main important economic factor associated with bees was discussed, which was the production of honey and other products such as bees’ wax, pollen, propolis, bee venom and royal jelly which once sold, bring an income to the farmer and contribute to their daily livelihoods.

Did you Know? Currently, beekeeping has advantages as an enterprise over other conventional livestock!

Bees in hive

This table indicates the various honey products and their uses.

HoneyNectar flowersFood (nutritional value) Medicine-cough syrup For local brew Making juice Cultural ceremonies
BeeswaxFrom glands of beesBee attraction Making candles Making cutex For comb foundation
PollenAnthers of flowersFood for broods For pollination Consumed by man as protein
PropolisTips of trees and buds’ sapsMedicine Seals unwanted holes in the hives Burry and cover things that bees cannot carry. It is an antibiotic for ulcers
Bee venomBeesMaking antihistamine Antitumor-prevents allergy
Royal jelly Food for the queen Medicine Food for the young bees

Bee capturing techniques

Among the richness of the teaching, participants learnt how bees are captured periodically during swarming seasons where they move from the forest to grasslands in search of foraging food plants or vice versa.

Identifying forage plants for bees at the field work

Bee foraging plants

The participants practically visited field sites in order to learn and be able to identify and verify the different types of the food foraging plants

They were able to point out different plants with abundance in both pollen and nectar. They entailed mangroves and some terrestrial plants.

Traditional wax processing

Recommendations by the Pate CBO representatives who participated in the training:

  • To invest in extensive training and follow ups especially for traditional bee keepers in Pate, which will eventually aid in quality honey production.
  • To provide start-up kits and modern hives for the traditional beekeepers’ community in Pate.
  • A concerted effort should be made to consciously target women and youths
  • Contribute, promote connection with commercial markets, contract farming, the added value of other beekeeping products.

In conclusion, beekeeping has the potential to contribute significantly to the improved economy of the local communities through increased incomes and creation of employment. Improved beekeeping will contribute to poverty alleviation among the economically disadvantaged coastal areas. Improved performance of the sector will greatly contribute to the conservation of the environment through agro-forestry. Therefore, there is a need to promote the development of the beekeeping sector in the area.

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