Bee farming is a profitable venture of keeping bees for productive purpose. Charles Sioka is an established bee keeper in Samia region Busia County. He sells pure honey and value added product like body creams. Charles has his own brand of body cream called Baselines body cream produced from bee wax, and other additives like honey and aloe Vera. If you want to start bee keeping,this is what you need to know.
What is the Cost of starting bee farming?
I established my apiary with a total amount of approximately ksh.8000 (from purchasing of beehives to that of harvesting materials) With ksh.4000 One is able to purchase langstroth hive whereas Kenya top bar hives cost about ksh.3800.
The harvesting materials includes bee suit, gloves, gumboots and smokers. This materials prevents one from bee sting.
I now have 17 langstroth hives that is easy to maintain with adequate space between the brooding chambers. The super is used to collect honey.
How does one establish the beehives?
Bee hives should be placed in suitable sites far from noise and human activities for instance a bush. It is also recommended that the hives should be at list a meter apart. Put the hives on iron bar stands and the bee colony will come by itself.
How long does it take to harvest?
After colonization of a hive, the first harvest can be done after 9 months. Subsequent harvest can happen after 3 or 4 months depending on the environment.
Where do you get the Market for your products?
I supplies my products to chemist and local market around. The Baseline body cream goes by ksh.100 per bottle and is used for curative purposes. He also sells pure honey at 500 per kg and ksh.800 per 1litre.
One main challenge affecting my bee farming is bee parasites that can cause bees to abscond the hives. It’s important for a bee keeper to constantly inspect the beehives.
Other Challenge includes insufficient raw material. Raw material present is not enough to make other value added products like soap and milking salve.
With more funds, I can be able expand my production and improve livelihoods.
Written By;Mercyline Tata