Home > Communities & conservation > Bee-keeping as an alternative source of income

As part of the ASSETS programme, parents and beneficiaries are engaged in conservation activities seeking to ensure that the integrity of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest is preserved. To this end, beekeeping is one of the alternative livelihood activities introduced to the community to ensure that they continue making money without having to rely environmentally destructive practices such as timber extraction. With income generated from beekeeping, families can sustainably support themselves.

It was a bright, sunny Friday morning! The A Rocha Kenya community conservation team left Mwamba Centre at 7am for a bee-keeping training session at Kahingoni, an hour and a half away by car. The team had been planning and preparing for the training for a few weeks. Thanks to generous gifts that came through Gifts with a Difference, A Rocha Kenya was able to buy 22 bee-hives. The hives were to be given to the trainees after the training for them to have something to get their bee-keeping business going.

The trainees were ASSETS parents, whom A Rocha Kenya works with to teach them alternative, sustainable sources of income using forest resources around them. By the time the team arrived,the trainees had already started gathering and within no time, all was set and ready.

Simon showing the different parts of a hive

Simon Beja, one of the A Rocha Kenya staff, was the main facilitator of the day. Having learned about bee-keeping from his father from an early age, Simon has since been keeping bees, and so had a wealth of experience to share with the trainees.

God beautifully created the world and put in it everything that was needed for all of its creatures to thrive. As small and insignificant as they may seem to many,bees have,a very important role to play. They are some of the hardest working creatures on earth, and are indicators of a healthy ecosystem. Bees amongst other pollinators provide one of the most invaluable service to the ecosystem; pollination. Pollination is a very important process in food production. Without bees and other pollinators then we would almost have no food in farms.

Bees do not just need hives to live in; they also need trees, flowers and plants around. Without them,  how then will they get pollen? Clearing the trees and flowers in our home areas is not good for the bees. We do that and they leave to find a much more suitable place. We cannot  cut down trees and clear our lands and still expect to harvest honey, or indeed much food. Harmful pesticides are also not  good for the bee population. It is in providing for their needs that we also get to benefit.

It was a good day

At the end of the training,each of the participants received two hives to start off on this venture. We hope that as they do so they continue to appreciate and value of the environment around them and that many more will be drawn to do the same.