“I started beekeeping way back in 1994 up to now I am continuing with it. I did not have any special motivation. I just thought about a way of earning additional income for the family. And since I had done this beekeeping as a child and when I looked at the environment, I decided to pick this as an enterprise. Since I started with the local beehives, it was cheaper.”

The Life as Beekeeper

Who belongs to your family / who is living with you?

My name is Ben. At home, we are more than 30, including my parents and the family of my brothers – we are all in one homestead.

How has beekeeping changed your life?

This project has helped a lot since I started it, especially in terms of supporting the family with basic necessities. But also school fees. Like the one of last year, I used it to help one of the dependents who was about to complete a course. So, sometimes it gets you out of a difficult situation when you least expect.

How do you provide a good environment for your bees?

What I do for the bees is to ensure they are not disturbed by pests and predators, because that is one of the biggest problems we face with the bees. So, constantly you have to check it because if you don’t, they will abscond. Since this place has many trees, the bees have forage. And I don’t provide them with special food and water.

What do trees mean to you and how can they be protected?

Trees are very important. I use them for this bee keeping project. And here they help so much during dry season, especially providing shade for the goats. This area can get very hot during dry season and without these trees, it would be hard for the animals. And then we also use them for construction and firewood. We also get fresh air and there are those we use as herbs for treating some ailments. So, even when I am cultivating, I make sure I protect them. In some parts of this land, I have preserved many. I have also planted some few, especially fruit trees. 

In terms of protection, I don’t just allow people to cut the ones in may land anyhow. Whether you are from the home here or not, I don’t encourage tree cutting.

What is the most important thing in your life?

The most important thing in my life now is trying to improve the livelihood of my family. So, I am heavily engaged in cultivation because that is what the family relies on.

What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?

Our biggest challenge here is the weather. During dry season, it can really get hot. Also when the rains delay a little or there is distortion, that can affect crops and it causes poor yields. But the place is fertile. The yields from crops can be very good if the rains are good. So, to address such challenges, you have to be thinking of other alternatives, including scaling this enterprise for increased production because it has a big potential to support the family.

What do you like to do in your free time?

During my free time I rest at home. Sometimes I use that time to make my local hives.

Which place would you like to see once?

Apparently I am not thinking of going away from home. Ok, if someone wants to give me opportunity to go elsewhere, I can go. But I don’t know where because I have not travelled, so I don’t know which place that could be, but I would be happy to travel.

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