KENYA – In the county of Bungoma, western Kenya, we recently met with a community-based organization engaged in beekeeping. They encourage and support beekeepers of all sorts — young and old, male and female, able and disabled — who add to their livelihoods by raising bees and “growing” honey crops.
Beekeepers in Bungoma face myriad challenges. Limited hive colonization, wasp and lizard infestation, and reliance on brokers that compromise profits all test the hive keepers there. Of most recent concern have been climate challenges: honey crops in Bungoma have been imperiled by drought. “It was so dry,” the group’s chairperson reports, “that there were no flowers to feed on and the bees left.”
Despite these difficulties, beekeeping farmers have continued to work hard and testify to the economic and social benefits of their occupation. Many have been able to educate their children to advanced levels with their beekeeping proceeds, as well as meet household needs. Judith, a member of the beekeeping organization, proudly reports that “when I sell my honey, I get money and am able to join my husband in educating our children. My eldest daughter is now in high school.” Many beekeepers say they have been able to set aside a small part of their profits to help address social needs in their communities.
Thank you for your support of World Renew as you enable us to continue supporting small farmers in viable and appropriate agricultural options like grain amaranth and beekeeping in Kenya. Together with our partner, the Anglican Church of Kenya, we hope to offer even more options and keep supporting the ongoing efforts of the farmers as they seek to improve their lives and transform their communities.
World Renew Kenya
Naomi Makau works with Anglican Development Services in amaranth and beekeeping promotion and was a key contributor to this story.