8 Records out of 22207 Records

An analysis of livelihood improvement and smallholder beekeeping in Kenya.

Author: Carroll, T

Awarding University: University College, Dublin, Ireland

Level : PhD

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Beekeeping ; Farmers ; Honey ;


The majority of Kenya?s poor live on small scale farms and agriculture is the country?s main economic activity. Recent years have seen rapidly increasing population, land fragmentation and as a result increasingly smaller farms in Kenya. There is therefore a need to diversify livelihoods on small scale farms to tackle rural poverty. Beekeeping is a potential livelihood diversification option with ready local and international markets for honey and other bee products and has been widely promoted in the country by government and development agencies. Beekeeping offers many potential benefits including income, health and environmental. Beekeeping has traditionally been considered an activity of the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands in Kenya. However, with increasing population there has been increasing environmental degradation and reducing forest cover and an increasing need to adapt beekeeping to small scale farms. As a result there has been a move away from more extensive beekeeping systems to intensive beekeeping. This study examined beekeeping as part of smallholder mixed farming systems in mid-high altitude areas of Kenya. The potential of beekeeping, as an appropriate livelihood strategy for smallholder farm households was examined using the sustainable livelihoods framework. The study was undertaken over a 6-year (2004-9) with over 300 small-scale farmers in Kenya?s Rift Valley Province. Secondary data on Kenyan and African bees and beekeeping was analysed including a number of research studies of significance on Kenya beekeeping. In addition farmer beekeepers were interviewed using a survey questionnaire while case studies were conducted with beekeeping groups and data was collected from research apiaries in combination with an action research process carried out with beekeepers over a two year period. Beekeeping was found to be a valuable and largely unexploited livelihood diversification option for small scale farmers. Important benefits from beekeeping in the study area were income, food, medicine, an improved sense of well-being and enhancement of the natural environment. Honey, the main bee product traded by beekeepers, obtained good local prices and there was a strong local demand for honey. Compared to maize, the staple crop of most Kenyan farmers, it was found that a typical 10-hive enterprise generated earnings equivalent to the average local production from 0.86 ha of maize. While markets exist, honey yields and returns remained low compared with their potential. Beekeepers had many challenges to contend with such as defensive bees, pests, absconding by bees, low hive occupation and low yields. The defensive nature of the bees with potential livelihood risk was found to be a likely deterrent to more small scale farmers keeping bees.

Factors influencing production of Honey : a case of Bee keeping farmers in Kakamega Central District, Kenya

Author: Anyanje, Purity Wanjiru

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 2011

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: Kakamega Central District ; Beekeeping ; Honey ; Agricultural production ;


Agriculture like other forms of investment in human capital, can contribute to economic development and social progress. Justification of this investment is that Agriculture is not only the backbone of this country but, it also employers 80% of its people. Beekeeping is a unique primary industry. Honey is medicine, food and a cash income that does not add burden on the land. The crop declines have caused an alarm to experts globally. China, Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Germany and United states has reported high decline in the past decade. Africa countries like Ethiopia. Rwanda and also Kenya has not been unexceptional since it has lost 80010 of its potential. The study was motivated by the fact that despite high level of potentiality in this area to yield 300 metric tonnes of honey, only 10 metric tonnes are produced. There is a world cry in honey decline. Kenya has a potential of producing 100,000 metric tonnes of honey annually, but only 20% of the potential is trapped. The objective of the study was to investigate factor influencing honey production that is: Demographic characteristics of beekeeping farmers; environmental management practices; advisory support given to farmers and training of bee keeping. The study employed the use of descriptive research design. The researcher used Yamane sampling table to select sample size of the whole population, therefore totaling to 90 bee farmers respondents in the whole district. To get sample size in each stratum, Yamane formula was employed. Stratified random sampling techniques was used to select 30 bee farmers each out of the three strata population, 10% of target population in each stratum was deemed proper. Systematic sampling was adopted in this research. The most practical way of sampling was to select every 10th item on a list. An element of randomness was introduced into this kind of sampling, in systematic sampling only the first number is selected randomly and the remaining units of the sample are selected at fixed intervals. The tenth of every 10th item on the list of bee keepers was randomly selected, and then every 10th item from the list of farmers in each stratum was picked. The interview schedule was used to supplement information which may have been left out by questionnaires. Data from office records were analyzed to provide additional information. The researcher sought to ensure content validity with the assistance of the supervisor and other research experts in the university to assess the relevance of the research tools against the objectives used in this study. Data collected was coded and analyzed using descriptive statistics such as percentage and then presented in form of frequency distribution tables. The findings releaved that demograpic characteristics influence production of honey since there was sex disparities in honey production as male produced more kilograms than female.Mature farmers aged 36 years and above produced large amount of honey. Environmental magement practices that is,overgrazing and agroforestry influenced production of honey as a result of poor grazing habits and lack of mix farming. Poor timing of pesticides application left bees dead.Most farmers had not received advisory services and training. The study recommended that the government should take intiative through the Ministry of Livestok to employ more personnels in the extentsion to be able reach and serve all bee farmers in the district and as a result dependent variable would influence the independent variables.

Composition and floral resources of bees and butteflies in Kaya Muhaka forest and surrounding farmlands, Kwale County, Kenya

Author: Chiawo, David Odhiambo

Awarding University: Kenyatta University, Kenya

Level : MSc

Year: 2011

Holding Libraries: Kenyatta University Moi Library ;

Subject Terms: Kwale County ; Kaya Muhaka Forest, Kenya ; Beekeeping ; Butterflies and moths ;


The current global pollination crisis and the importance of insects in pollination service that maintains the native plant populations, agricultural enterprise, ecosystem resilience and food security do motivate the concern to conserve insect pollinators. Kaya forests are rich in biodiversity and endemism; they are potential sites for conservation of these pollinators in the coastal region of Kenya. However, they are threatened by illegal deforestation, charcoal burning, settlement and farming causing conservation threat to the pollinators. Understanding the composition of bee and butterfly communities and their response to the disturbance is essential if their conservation is to be successful in the area. The main objective of the study was to establish the composition of bees and butterflies along the disturbance gradient. The study examined the diversity and abundance of these pollinators and their floral resources along a disturbance gradient from the natural forest through the forest edge to farmlands. The study was carried out between April 2010 to September 2010 and data analysed using R software. Diversity, species richness, abundance and floral resources were examined in Kaya Muhaka forest, forest edge, surrounding fallow farmlands and crop fields. The survey was done at sampling points along two habitat zones in transition from the forest core to farmlands. Sampling was done using sweep nets within three permanent 50 m x 2 m belt transects at each sampling point. 36 belt transects were surveyed in 12 sampling points across the habitats for six months. Floral resources were identified and linked to the associated bees and butterflies. A total of 52 bee species and 66 butterfly species were recorded. The highest bee diversity was recorded in fallow farmlands and lowest in forest core. The diversity of bee species across the habitats was not statistically different. However, butterfly diversity was significantly higher in forest edge than in crop fields (P = 0.021). The lowest butterfly diversity was recorded in fallow farmlands. Both bees and butterflies were more abundant in the farmlands. Crop fields and forest edge were closely similar in bee and butterfly composition. Increasing distance from forest core had no significant effect on bee and butterfly diversity and abundance. The effect of floral resources richness on bee species richness was highly significant (P = 0.004). However, floral richness did not have significant effect on butterfly richness. Bees and butterflies were not evenly distributed in the habitats. These findings are important for understanding and management of insect pollinators in changing landscapes.

The efficacy of odour-baited bottom board trap for controlling small hive beetle, Aethina tumida ( Coleoptera : Nitidulidae ) in honeybee colonies

Author: Mutyambai , Daniel Munyao

Awarding University: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya

Level : MSc

Year: 2011

Holding Libraries: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Library ;

Subject Terms: Bees ; Aethina tumida ; Pest control ; Beekeeping ;


Honeybees are of great value in Africa for both their economic and ecological importance. Economically, they are important pollinators of a great host of commercial crops as well as a source of food and livelihoods for thousands of small-scale beekeepers. Ecologically, they contribute to floral biodiversity and conservation through their pollination activity of both cultivated and wild plants. In Kenya, bee keeping as an income generating activity is being utilized as a tool to fight poverty in the rural arid and semi-arid areas. In the past, problems posed by honeybee pests were considered insignificant in Africa. More recently, however, an increasing number of exotic diseases like varroasis and pests Varroa mites as well as indigenous pests like wax moth and small hive beetles threaten honeybees, bee keeping and honeybee pollination in Africa. Aethina tumida Murray is considered a minor parasitic pest of African honeybee colonies within its native host range, and a serious exotic pest to European honeybees feeding on the honey, pollen and bee brood eventually causing honeybees to abscond the hives. The effectiveness of odour-baited bottom board trap for A. tumida was tested in a field apiary where eight traps were deployed in 24 honeybee colonies over a 32-week trapping period and the trap catches relative to the total population of A. tumida in the hives recorded. The bait consisted of commercial pollen dough conditioned by inoculation with yeast, Kodamaea ohmeri (NRRL Y -30722). The trap captured on average over 50% of the beetle population in the honeybee hives per trapping period although this varied between dry and rainy seasons with significantly more beetles captured in the wet season. The trap nearly eliminated the beetles from the hives under trapping for a period of seven months. Laboratory bioassays using a dual choice olfactometer showed that A. tumida was significantly attracted to both worker honeybee and yeast-inoculated commercial pollen dough volatiles as compared to the controls, air and uninoculated pollen dough respectively while yeast-inoculated pollen doughvolatiles attracted significantly more beetles compared to worker honeybee volatiles. The analysis of volatiles from worker honeybees and yeast-inoculated pollen dough showed that both odour sources contained some similar compounds with few fermentation related compounds being found in inoculated pollen dough only. This study showed that odour-baited bottom board trap is efficient not only as a monitoring tool but also as a management tool for A. tumid a infestations in honeybee hives.

The interaction between the African elephant (Loxodonta africana africana) and the African honey bee (Apis mellifera scutellata) and its potential application as an elephant deterrent.

Author: King, L E

Awarding University: University of Oxford, England

Level : DPhil

Year: 2010

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Elephant/Loxodonta africana/Apis mellifera scutellata/Samburu District/Buffalo Springs National Reserve, Kenya/Beekeeping/Wildlife/ ;


Two key research questions are asked in this thesis (i) what happens when elephants and honey bees interact and (ii) how can we adapt this behaviour into a potential deterrent system for crop-raiding elephants. The first three data chapters explore in detail the behavioural response of elephant families to digital playbacks of bee sounds. This technique has been used successfully by other established elephant research teams. Here, I work with an unfenced savannah elephant population studied by Save the Elephants in Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves, northern Kenya. I show that not only do elephants run from the sound of bees but that they emit a unique low frequency alarm call when doing so, which in turn alarms (or warns) others in the area to retreat. Although these multi-layered behavioural discoveries were groundbreaking, I go on to reveal that bee sounds alone will not be enough to deter elephants for long as they do start to habituate to the playback sounds when no negative conditioning from live bees occurs. Turning to the application of this knowledge, I spend three chapters describing in detail the development and evolution of a unique beehive fence designed specifically for use by poor rural farmers who suffer from frequent crop depredations and damage by elephants. I rely on several rapid rural appraisal techniques to evaluate the impact of the beehive fence on efficiency and effectiveness as well as the perception of the farmers and the potential income and livelihood prospects. The adoption success of the beehive fence system in three rural communities leads to a discussion about the wider application of beehive fences on both a regional and global scale. I end with a list of recommendations for the conditions within which I predict the beehive fences will be effective.

Status and the potential of stingless bees apidae meliponinae for forest conservation and income generation : a case study of Kakamega forest

Author: Macharia, Joseph Kimunge

Awarding University: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya

Level : MSc

Year: 2008

Holding Libraries: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Library ;

Subject Terms: Apidae meliponinae ; Bees ; Beekeeping ; Kakamega Forest, Kenya ;


Stingless beekeeping (meliponiculture) is a unique eco-friendly agro-practice with the potential for environmental amelioration, employment and income generation. Meliponiculture would be ideal for generation of supplementary income to resource-poor farmers around forests, in addition to conservation of stingless bees. Assessment of the knowledge of stingless bees by community around Kakamega forest indicated that most people know stingless bees but they do not undertake any active conservation measures. Results obtained from this study indicated that two genera of stingless bees, Meliponula and Hypotrigona occur in Kakamega forest. The community around Kakamega forest identifies stingless bees by their morphological features, nesting architecture and taste, smell and colour of their honey. Trials on queen rearing process of H. gribodoi indicated that this species rears queens in two ways: (i) using a special queen cell which is bigger than other brood cells (ii) through emergency queen rearing whereby they join two brood cells, destroying one developing larvae. This queen rearing can be used in colony multiplication in stingless bees rearing. Honey from five species (Hypotrigona gribodoi, Meliponula bocandei, M ferruginea (black), M ferruginea (white.), Plebeina spp) varied in composition. The quality variables analyzed varied as follows: moisture, Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), diastase activity, proline, free acidity and pH. Moisture content was higher than that of Apis mellifera. Studies on antimicrobial activity of the stingless bees against 5 strains of bacteria; Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis, indicated susceptibility of the bacteria to the honey. Escherichia coli and P. auregnosa were the most susceptible bacteria. Moreover, honey from P. hildebrandti and M ferruginea (b) showed the highest antibacterial effect. This study forms a foundation of involving farmers around Kakamega forest in stingless bees keeping as incentive for forest conservation and income generation.

Economics of honey production : the case of the Australian industry

Author: Lagat, David

Awarding University: Australian National University, Australia

Level : Msc

Year: 2000

Holding Libraries: Kenya Forestry Research Institute Library ;

Subject Terms: Forests ; Honey ; Beekeeping ;


Honey production is an established non-timber forest product in Australia. It faces competition and challenges from other forest uses, particularly from logging and conservation. The continued logging and the declaration of native forest areas as conservation reserves, which exclude beekeepers, are having a direct impact on the beekeeping industry. Beekeeping has relied on native forests since l820s and the continued reduction in the area of forest available for apiary is a concern to the industry. This study examines the economic importance of native forest in supporting the apiary industry and the direct and indirect economic impact of the apiary industry. The study relied mainly on secondary data and the argument is based on these sources and discussions with some industry and government representatives. The study indicates that native forests contribute over 50% of the total honey production (50-90%) besides providing build up sites for pollination of agricultural crops. The value of incidental pollination for agricultural crops is more than the value of apiary products. The apiary products have a gross value of about $64 million and $ 100 million if spill - over effects are considered. New South Wales contributes about 45% of the value. There are about 1,000 people directly employed in commercial apiary production activities and additional 500 jobs are possibly generated indirectly in other sectors. Further research is recommended on the economics of honey industry, especially on production and marketing. The beekeeping industry, though small, is important in the economy. The continued survival of the industry is dependent on the availability of floral resources in public lands and in private hands. The significance of the industry is not only in the direct and indirect impacts in other sectors but the positive externality of honey industry in the agricultural sector. The beekeeping industry will continue to provide this benefit if there is support and recognition as one of the important uses of forests.

Beekeeping's role in a subsistence farming system in semi-arid lower Embu District, Kenya : Mbeere beekeeping, its present and potential role

Author: Rottcher, Steffen

Awarding University: University of Wales, Bangor

Level : MSc

Year: 1996

Holding Libraries: University of Wales, Bangor, Library ;

Subject Terms: Beekeeping/Embu District/ ;