Palmy is situated in Muranga county, around 80km north-east of Nairobi. The project was identified in 2016, and the group comprises many young people.
The area has great potential for beekeeping, particularly as there is good will from the county government to support registered youth groups and women’s groups which start any viable farming enterprise that does not have a negative impact on the environment. The main cash crops in the district are tea, coffee and milk production.
Honey is in great demand since there are not many people who keep bees in the area, and there is market potential in the nearby towns for honey and added-value products.
Bees Abroad Activities
Members of the newly-formed group identified areas in which they needed specific training and support to enable them to take up beekeeping as a viable commercial enterprise. They requested help from Bees Abroad and the project is now an approved three-year Bees Abroad funded project.
A young member of the Palmy group sold a cow to pay for a six-month course in beekeeping and hive-making. Selling a cow is a major decision, reflecting the seriousness with which he is taking up beekeeping. Bees Abroad is now mentoring him so he can be a lead person supporting the group.
This group is advancing quickly despite having a few challenges. Many of the members attend schools and colleges so training needs to fit into the weekend. As with many areas in Kenya, the risk of drought is always a problem.
Into the future
Despite problems, top bars for at least 30 hives have been purchased. Accurately sized, the bars will only be made available to those members who have made top-bar box hives into which the bars will be placed.