Beginners Guide to Beekeeping Kenya

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Beginners Guide to Beekeeping Kenya
    Beginner’s Guide To Beekeeping in Kenya By Thomas Carroll, Msc. (Agr.)   Nakuru, Kenya  June 2006.    © 1 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: I would like to thank my wife Jane and my three children – Mick, Kieran and James for supporting me to write this beekeeping guide and for putting up with dad being in the office (allot!). I would also like to thank the Principal and staff of Baraka Agricultural College, Molo, Kenya for all their help and for giving me the opportunity to work on beekeeping development with them since 1994. In addition I would like to thank Self Help Development International who support our beekeeping work at the college and also to Gorta who are currently supporting my beekeeping research work for my doctoral studies at University College Dublin. I hope the guide is useful to those who want to start beekeeping in Kenya and other African countries. Beekeeping has the potential to earn significant amounts of money if carried out well and knowledge is the key to good beekeeping! This book was written to assist beekeepers in Kenya and other African countries improve their beekeeping. It is written in simple language and is intended to be as practical as possible. The book is based on an earlier version called ‘Beekeeping a Beginner’s Guide’ which I wrote in 1997. Please send comments on how this book can be improved and made more relevant so that future editions can be improved. Send comments to By post to: Box 12173, Nakuru, Kenya Thank you for helping to make future editions of this book better! Tom Carroll, Box 12173, Nakuru, Kenya, June 2006      © 2   About The Author: Tom Carroll was born in Co. Laois, Ireland where he grew up on the family farm. He developed an interest in beekeeping at an early age when he found abandoned bee hives and equipment belonging to his late Grandfather in his home garden. His interest developed further when his father hired a local beekeeping expert to remove bees from the roof of the two storey family house. This beekeeper was old and too stiff to climb the ladder to remove the bees so he dressed young 9 year old Tom in a beesuit and sent him up the ladder to remove the bees. Tom loved it!! From there sprang a life long passion for bees which would change his life and take him half way round the world. In 1993 having finished University in Dublin with a Master’s degree in agriculture, Tom came to Kenya to work on a beekeeping development project. For the last 13 years Tom has worked on African beekeeping development in a number of African countries including Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. In the year 2000 Tom set up a website to assist the development of beekeeping in Africa through sharing ideas and information. Tom also shares the beekeeping knowledge and experience he has gained through this beekeeping guide. This guide can be purchased as an e-book through the apiconsult web site. Hard copies of the book can be ordered by e-mailing and a hard copy (spiral bound) will be  posted on order.    © 3 CONTENTS Introduction Part One: Introduction to Beekeeping - Page 6 The bees themselves; what is beekeeping; What do bees do; what is honey; what is beeswax; what is propolis; who lives in the beehive. Part Two: Getting Started - the Basics – Page 11  What is a hive; The Kenya Top Bar Hive (KTBH); The mud/stick hive; Where to put the Apiary; Hanging or placing the hives; General apiary management; Bee-Keeping equipment and how to use it; handling bees; What if no bees enter the hive? ; What causes absconding and its control.  Part Three: The Beekeeping Year – Page 32 Conditions for maximum honey production; Beekeeping in Kirinyaga; Beekeeping in Kakamega; Beekeeping in Molo; Beekeeping in Transmara; Beekeeping in Nandi hills; Bee management during the year - swarm prevention and control, making a division, feeding, pests and diseases and their control; Major nectar bearing plants in Kenya.  Part Four: The Harvest – Page 46 Time of harvesting, harvesting procedure, honey refining, extraction of beeswax.  Part Five: The Market for Bee Products – Page 52 Honey - crude, semi-refined, refined, chunk, comb, packaging and labelling, where to sell the honey; beeswax; propolis.   Part Six: Starting a Beekeeping Enterprise Costs and Profit – Page 55
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