African beekeepers’ innovation makes beekeeping returns sweeter
For years, Joseck Matheri, Calvin Tiony and their wives watched helplessly as honey badger, an animal larger than a cat however smaller than a canine, held their enterprise hostage.
Each time they put up beehives, it could destroy them in pursuit of its favorite meal: honey. It was heartbreaking they usually contemplated giving up on the enterprise regardless of the promise of fine returns.
The query in the back of their minds was, “how can we deal with the honey badger.”
“Beekeepers will inform tales of how they’ve misplaced big investments to this small however very brave animal,” Joseck says. “I do know of a farmer who misplaced 17 hives in a single night time, that’s lower than twelve hours.”
But it surely’s not solely the honey badger that the beekeepers needed to cope with. Honey manufacturing can also be curtailed by the climate – whether or not it’s too sizzling or too chilly – theft of beehives and wax moths that eat combs, significantly those who comprise brood and pollen.
“The one identified therapy for wax moth is fireplace therapy. With many of the hives product of wooden, it turns into a case of throwing out the child and the bathwater. Such losses discourage many from venturing into this extremely profitable trade,” he says.
And in 2020 after investing many hours and tens of millions of shillings, the households got here up with an answer: concrete beehives underneath their firm, Mister Bee Concrete Hives. A primary of its type within the nation, this honey-holding container is a gamechanger.
“We selected to work with concrete as a result of it was a cloth too robust sufficient for the honey badger but in addition due to its thermodynamic traits,” says Calvin, an engineer and the technical head on the firm. To understand the ingenuity of this hive, one should first perceive bees and picket hives.
In a picket hive, honey output in the course of the sizzling season is low as bees spend a majority of their time flapping their wings to chill the interior temperature. When it’s chilly, they clamp collectively to maintain heat. However concrete as a non-heat conductor doesn’t enable warmth inside or exterior.
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“They could be tiny however bees are the lifeline of planet Earth,” Janet concludes.