Contractual Beekeeping – lessons from Savvanah Honey

Kenya is forced to import 80% of honey from other countries even with a huge potential to produce all the honey it needs. Mr. Kyalo Maveke the Savannah Honey CEO says this adding that over 95 per cent of all the bee pollen in Kenya, propolis, and bee venom used are all imported. It is estimated that we produce about 11,000 metric tonnes of honey and 1-3 tonnes of beeswax annually which is only 20% of the honey needed in the country.

Even though Beekeeping is one of the ventures that have good returns, the majority of Kenyans have not understood the proper way of doing it. This is attributed to a lack of appropriate technologies, poor beekeeping practices, low uptake of improved technologies and poor policy guidelines and marketing skills.  “Some people have huge parcels of land and they are just lying idle when they can get millions of shillings out of it,” says Kyalo.

He adds that bees have one of the highest returns that one will ever get in any investment with a gram of bee venom being 7 times more costly than gold.  He says this is shown by current retail market prices where a gram of bee venom costs Kshs.8,000 while a kilo of royal jelly costs Kshs. 42,000 and propolis goes for Kshs. 1,900 per kg

Savannah Honey which is one of the leading beekeeping Companies in Africa has launched a subsidized national beekeeping promotion programme dubbed Don’t let your land stay idle” targeting 7,000 clients across the country.

Through this programme the company shall:

  1. Deliver and install Langstroth hives at a special price of Kshs 5, 000 per hive instead of the normal price of kshs 6,500.
  2. Provide technical support services including colony division, colony strengthening, and requeening free of charge to their clients. To make this effective, the company has deployed apiarists across the country who can serve clients within 24 hours whenever the need arises.
  3. Manage the apiaries for the clients.
  4. Provide the clients with a 5-year contract for the market of Honey, bee pollen, wax, propolis, and Bee Venom.

Speaking during the launch of the program at Savannah Honey beekeeping Centre, Utawala Nairobi, the CEO of Savannah Honey Kyalo Maveke said that Kenya’s potential in beekeeping has never been exploited also over 95% of all Bee pollen, propolis, and bee venom used in the country is imported. He says through this programme, they shall enable their clients to utilize their idle land enabling them to earn extra income.

He encourages people to invest in beekeeping because it’s an investment that one can never go wrong if they check against the black ants and honey badgers. Again it’s an investment that doesn’t require any input and labour. It’s not time-consuming and it has very high returns.

Savannah buys a kilo of honey from the contracted farmer at Kshs. 500 per kg, Bee pollen at Kshs. 6,800 per kg, propolis Kshs 1600 per kg and bee venom at Ksh. 4,000 per gram.

“As Savannah Honey, we are experts in beekeeping as well as apiary management. We will manage for you your bee farm, giving you more time to do other tasks,” says Mr. Kyalo

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