Bee-keeping is one of the farming activities being promoted across the country. This is because the benefits range from cash from bee products such as honey, propolis said to be an antibiotic, as well bee venom used by pharmaceutical industries for the production of some medicines.
In terms of earnings, the smallest unit of propolis, goes for sh5,000 to sh250,000 a litre. The same applies to bee venom, honey and bee wax used in the production of candles. Used-up combs can be processed into shoe polish.
However, for one to further understand the benefits of bees and related benefits, access to information and knowledge is key, according to Tom Okello Onyi, one of Uganda’s Best Farmers for 2018.
Onyi, who now runs the TAF Assured Mixed Farm Enterprises in Lira district, says for one to earn from bees or to keep bees as a business, they should make sure they are near tree shades as trees reduce heat that affects bee production. An apiary enterprise must be kept clean through regular slashing; and water should not farther than 2km from the bee hives, among others.
He adds that this should be accompanied with monitoring to make sure there are no pests that find their way into the bee hives.
Improved bee hive
To do so, working with a group of bee farmers in Lira, Onyi has invented an improved bee hive that prevents pests from getting into the hive, but also is more clean and easy to maintain.
How it works
The bee hive is bigger, thicker and provides a conducive environment for the bees by preventing heat that affects production. The bee hive goes for sh120,000, but also farmers are being trained to produce their own through their groups, adds Onyi.