WHY BEEKEEPING? WHY WOMEN?
Beekeeping is an activity offering great potential for development in almost all African countries. It is easy and cheap to start, it can provide valuable food/medicine for the family, and honey and beeswax are important cash crops with ready local market.
Beekeeping requires little land and therefore is an ideal activity for small scale resource-poor farmers. Beekeeping also enhances the environment and increases crop yields through pollination. Beekeeping gives local people an economic incentive for the retention of natural habitats such as forests and therefore is an ideal activity in any forest conservation program.
Traditionally, Kenyan women have not been in the business of beekeeping.
Beehives were historically kept very high in trees requiring the beekeeper to undertake a somewhat dangerous climb in order to service or retrieve the hive. Culturally, this was not considered an activity fit for Kenyan women.
Now, with modern beekeeping techniques and tools, colonized hives can be managed
Statistically Women are hard-working than men, they spent most of their time on farm,80% while men only spent 20%, and from this, we can judge how important women are in farm managements and practices which finally determine farm products.
Careful introduction of better technology top bar and frame hives (Langstroth beehive) for modern beekeeping has double the honey production.
Potential of beekeeping in Kenya
Beekeeping in Kenya can be a viable business venture because:
· Over 80% of land in Kenya is suitable for beekeeping
· Kenya has the potential of producing 100,000 tonnes of honey and 10,000 tonnes of wax annually. Currently, only 20% of this potential is tapped.
· With major lifestyle diseases, natural products like honey have bigger markets.
· Globally, there is concern on the reduction of honey bees
Economic importance of bees
Bees whether wild or kept in apiaries are useful. Some of the important uses of bees include:
· Production of nutritious foods such as honey, bee pollen, and royal jelly.
· Income generation from the sale of bee products
· Immense benefits in terms of provision of pollinators, which enhance crop yield.
· Honey is a food easily digestible and also a source of natural medicine thus addressing food and nutrition security
· Beekeeping is a family level exercise which has some distinct advantages over other agricultural activities.
· It is a flexible and gender-friendly enterprise which does not compete for resources with other agricultural activities.
· Poverty reduction through creation of jobs within the beekeeping value chain
· Beekeeping is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Twende Pamoja Organization has set up a demonstration apiary with a total of 20 hives. And surprisingly enough over the shorter duration of about 18 months, 380Kg has been harvested and in the second month of our demonstration we projected some good out of this project and we decided to try it outside Karibuni, and gave two women from different geographical position within Ndhiwa sub-counties 3 beehives each as a fact of demonstration.
The produce from these two women was really amazing and this has made us give this project more concern than ever.
Pamela Akinyi is a mother of four children including Sharon Atieno who is in GSG. She is a breadwinner to her family since her husband is disabled. Pamela Akinyi is among women who received agricultural training last year, 2019.luckily enough she was given two boxes of beehives for the start and this was after support by Twende Pamoja through training in beekeeping, surprisingly she has been getting most of her basic needs through this project, food, pocket money for her child Sharon Atieno, purchasing school uniform and shoes for her children among other basic essential needs. Part of the money she is using to run the beekeeping practices. She is also participating in table banking at Nyarath She is thankful for the support given and request for more if there would be so that she can increase the number of beehives.
Millicent Akinyi is a single mother parent of three children; Saida, Afsa, and Zalha. Her husband died a long time ago and she has been providing basic needs to her children. Her life has since been so miserable until when she joined Pala women table banking. Besides that, she is one of the women who received agricultural training in 2018 and 2019. After training, she was one of the women who were given Seeds of a different variety, tissue-cultured banana seedlings, and beehives. This has enabled Millicent to educate all her children and as at now Saida firstborn of the family is in her second-year college perusing Diploma in Industrial chemistry, Afsa had completed her secondary education 2019 hoping to join college this year and Zalha who is the last born in the family is in form four at Pala secondary school. Zalha is one of the footballers for team Kenya "Karibuni Starlet". Millicent has been able to afford all family expenses through the beekeeping project. Even though Millicent is doing community conversation and table banking for the organization beekeeping remains her major source of income. Beekeeping project is good and can be of great income if more beehives can be gotten and many women in table banking be issued with, we have a total of over 50 women in table banking and they are very optimistic and determine women as we can see how the two women who were just given three beehives for demonstration has shown some potential that has attracted many. Twende Pamoja Organization believes bee-keeping can do better having to understand some important areas to look at for the success of the project.It would be ungrateful on our part to ask for any well-wisher to help in donating some funds to support this project by purchasing more bee-hives to women, so we leave it to you to help those in need in whatever way possible. It would be an act of great kindness and generosity on your part. Feel at liberty to contact us Through this our social platforms for any queries you may have regarding the project or the organization as a whole.
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