In essence, apiculture is the raising of bees to produce goods like propolis, wax, and honey. Some African groups raise bees only for the purpose of protecting their fields and homesteads.
Initially, beekeeping was thought to be a traditional activity most prevalent among Kenya’s hunter-gatherer populations. When animals foraged sought food on their own outside of their refuge (in the open, on tree branches, in tunnels or caves, etc.), they were regarded as wild animals. Bee hives perched on tree branches
Beekeeping is expanding on a big scale thanks to agricultural advancements now underway, and research has shown that it may significantly contribute to tackling the problems of food security and sustainable income. For instance, research has shown that bees are essential to crop pollination, which is significant for crop yields in agriculture.
The goal of the innovation campaign is to dispel the myth that bees are wild insects that can’t be raised on farms like other animals.
- Starting bee keeping
It is crucial to do an evaluation of the business’ appropriateness and sustainability before spending your money, time, and effort, just like with many other ventures.
The following are a few of the crucial aspects to take into account:
- Bees availability
This is a query about the local ecological circumstances. Some sites will be preferred by bees over others. Temperatures, humidity, and rainfall are major determinants of the availability of critical resources like water and food. The easiest way to fill the hives is by using catcher boxes, which are placed in the bees’ route to draw them. To entice the bees into the catcher box, some honey comb might be placed within the box.
To begin beekeeping, one must ascertain whether they have the necessary resources. This refers to the money needed to pay for the equipment, which includes bee hives, catcher boxes, artificial feeds, labor, power honey comb spinners, smokers, and all other associated costs.
We constantly advise farmers to start small and employ resources that are readily available in their area. This will cut down on expenses and guarantee healthy profits for a developing farmer.
- Site Selection
A beekeeper places great importance on the location of the apiary to reduce conflict between the bees and nearby farmers, the general public, or other animals. The key factors to think about while choosing a location for an apiary are outlined below:
The apiary should be far from busy areas like those close to a machine in operation. Bees become excited by noise and become sting motivated.
Place the apiary away from the homestead and any grazing or livestock yards. Place the bee hives nearer to sources of water and food. This will reduce the distance traveled to find feed and water, which increases productivity.
Avoid placing hives nearer to active walkways and roadways. Strong wind and air currents may easily disrupt bees. Keep the hives from facing the wind directly while placing them.
- Social and Cultural consideration
Understanding the cultural values of the individuals you are targeting as your target market is crucial. For instance, if a farmer wants to raise bees for honey but the people he wants to sell the honey to don’t want to eat insects, he won’t be able to succeed in his endeavors.
The social insect known as the bee prefers to live in a family-like arrangement known as a colony. Depending on the nearby availability of water and food sources, a single bee colony may contain up to 3000–9000 bees or even more. Worker bees make up the majority of this (approximately 90% of the colony).
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