After realizing a shortage and very inconsistent supply of honey in Kenya, Ernest Simeoni decided in 2005 to venture into commercial honey production using the most modern equipment available globally.
The road to successful commercial beekeeping has been challenging due to the fact that there had never been information or research regarding the industry
in the region. It has been a learning process to understand amongst other things; the flowering seasons of the numerous nectar bearing flowers as well as regional honey flows.
Having gathered information over the years Ernest has managed to set up commercial apiaries in several locations in the country. These have been set up in carefully selected sites across rural Kenya with local communities or in commercial orchids and agricultural plantations for pollinations purposes.
These projects in themselves have served and continue to serve as demonstration to local communities that bee keeping can be practices as a viable commercial enterprise. After a series of trainings, local personnel are employed as caretakers of the apiaries at all sites. ABL staffs with the correct expertise and experience in turn manage the hives and harvest honey. All visits by the ABL staff is documented with report forms filled in, recording the weather, flowering (by local names), the status of the bees and hives etc.
Since 2006, ABL has successfully operated 500 Langstroth bee hives in Kenya’s renowned Maasai Mara. The project sparked ideas with the local community who then showed interest in starting up their own bee keeping project in the recently established Enongishu Conservancy. Following a series of consultation with the local community, Ernest managed to source some funding from the Ford Foundation and together with the founding member of Enongishu Conservancy – Tarquin Wood, a women’s group was formed.
The women’s group uses a business acumen model specifically formulated to their needs; to become a member, one needs to buy a number of shares. ABL are engaged as the project managers and Onengishu conservancy provided the land to make a three pronged approach. All honey proceeds is paid directly into the group account and the money is shared to the members according to the individual shares at the end of the year.
This beekeeping enterprise model for rural communities is in the process of being replicated to suit other regions so as to sustain the supply of good quality honey for and from Kenya.
African Beekeepers Limited Has Supplied Beekeeping Equipment and Related Accessories To The Following Arid Lands Projects In Kenya:-
Arid Lands Resource Management Project –Kapenguria
Arid Lands Resource Management Project –Garissa
Arid Lands Resource Management Project – Nyeri
Arid Lands Resource Management Project –Kilgoris
Arid Lands Resource Management Project – Kwale
Arid Lands Resource Management Project – Tana river
Arid Lands Resource Management Project – Marsabit
Arid Lands Resource Management Project –Moyale
Arid Lands Resource Management Project-Kajiado
Arid Lands Resource Management Project-Isiolo
Arid Lands Resource Management Project-Mwingi
Arid Lands Resource Management Project- Mandera