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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Allemagne → 2003 → Towards Realization of Kenya´s Full Beekeeping Potential : A Case Study of Baringo District

Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (2003)

Towards Realization of Kenya´s Full Beekeeping Potential : A Case Study of Baringo District

Gichora Mercy

Titre : Towards Realization of Kenya´s Full Beekeeping Potential : A Case Study of Baringo District.

Auteur : Gichora Mercy

Université de soutenance : Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

Grade : Doctoral thesis 2003

In the Tugen community of Baringo District, Kenya, beekeeping is culturally defined as a man’s job. Training is normally conducted by an experienced member of an apprentice’s family or by a fellow beekeeper. While boys receive instruction in all aspects of beekeeping, the training of girls is restricted to non-productive roles. Women who wish to engage in beekeeping therefore lack most of the necessary skills and are required to hire men for hive construction, placement of hives in trees, pest management, honey harvesting and processing. Beekeeping is ranked second or third among the four most important income-generating activities with its relative economic importance increasing as potential for crop agriculture diminishes with altitude. 9 I% of beekeepers rely on fixed comb, traditional, log hives, which beekeepers make individually, receive as gifts or inherit. Where necessary to buy equipment, beekeepers do not look for credit but depend on savings or income generated from other economic activities at farm level. Beekeepers follow traditional colony management, harvesting and processing methods to produce honey. They sell crushed honeycombs as a crude product to middlemen who follow simple procedures to produce semi-refined honey. The grade of combs containing most of the pollen and brood is sold to brewers of traditional beer and other alcoholic beverages. Wax does not have an established route for trading and is discarded as waste or put into domestic use. There have been attempts to introduce Kenya Top Bar Hives (KTBH) as transitional, movable comb hives in order to raise the yield and quality of hive products in Kenya. In Baringo District beekeepers have not adopted this technology as they have no one reliable and close-by to help them when they encounter various difficulties in using such hives. Areas in which beekeepers would like to receive further training in order to improve colony management and productivity include bee biology, principles of management based on KTBH and other movable comb hives, quality harvesting and processing procedures as well as marketing. These areas comprehensively sum up current problems faced in beekeeping. With regard to the performance of KTBH, top bars are the only parts that must be made to precision. Newly manufactured bars in workshops varied by only I mm from the specified width of 32 mm. In the field, this precision was lost as dimensions of unseasoned wood adjusted on exposure to natural elements. Beekeepers also complained that extreme temperatures arose in KTBH during the hot season to the extent of wax melting and combs dropping from bars. Two variants of the KTBH were therefore tested for temperature regulation and one that was fitted with a modified flat cover, insulated by a timber ceiling and painted white, was found to attain significantly lower peak temperature than a normal KTBH. Placing hives in a thatched bee hut also kept them significantly cooler in all seasons compared to open and tree-shaded sites. A study of vegetation revealed that species composition varies widely from area to area with respect to plants that beekeepers consider as most important for beekeeping. Natural flowering gaps exist during the hot season at the beginning of each year causing bees to migrate elsewhere and not to return until conditions improve with the onset of rains. Since most beekeepers utilize land that is communally owned with several types of interests at times vested in the same plants, vegetation is reported to be declining and this calls for conservation measures to be put in place. Based on these findings, reconmendations are made at the end of the study suggesting a way forward for beekeeping not only in Baringo District but also for other areas of Kenya.

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Page publiée le 13 janvier 2016, mise à jour le 10 novembre 2021