Kisii is a county in South West Kenya, not far from Lake Victoria, into which many of the rivers in the area flow. The county is hilly, with several ridges and valleys, and with average annual rainfall of 1500mm.
The maximum temperatures in the county range between 21°C – 30°C while the minimum temperatures range between 15°C – 20°C. With high and reliable rainfall coupled with moderate temperatures, the area is suitable for growing crops like tea, coffee, pyrethrum, maize, beans and bananas as well dairy farming, and is ideal for beekeeping. Despite this, around 60% of the population live in poverty
Bees Abroad activities
In 2015, Bees Abroad started training in Kisii. Two villages, within a few miles of each other, had separately requested training. This has allowed Bees Abroad to run joint training sessions, thus keeping the costs low.
During the first year, all the basics were covered, including making and locating beehives, handling bees, harvesting honey and learning about the importance of beekeeping to forest conservation in this part of Kenya. When villagers can earn an income from the forest through beekeeping, they are unlikely to fell trees for charcoal burning.
Into the future
The training has been successful and everyone is keen to start our second season training.