One might wonder what is there to be done in Apitourism in Kenya. Traditionally, East Africa’s pastoral, hunting and gathering community collected wild honey in forests and caves. Beez were smoked out of tree trunks and caves by burning elephant dung, believed to have ability of lighting for a very long time. During harvesting, no protective gear was worn by these traditional honey gatherers. Pay a visit now and see how immune they are to the bee stings. The practice still lives in some communities though most of them have taken a leap from it by constructing their own traditional log hives.
Why Api – tourism in Kenya.
The fusion of traditional methods where individuals manufacture most of the equipment they require and the modern method with Kenya Top bar hives provides a unique experience. Some practices believe it not will get the visiting bee keepers’ adrenaline gushing.
Kenya’s ‘honey jar’ is filled with the Pokot bee keeping community practicing the traditional methods of bee keeping. The area has a huge potential of in honey production. With an estimate of 176,00 bee hives. They produce special quality honey not available in any other area in Kenya. Their methods work perfectly for them that the resents attempt to introduce the modern methods has not been widely adapted. Just like any other venture, the Baringo traditional bee keeping community have challenges like water, destruction of bees by pest, occasional theft and poor marketing infrastructure but harvesting accidents is not one of them. This is because of their deep knowledge in bee behavior, a golden knowledge passed from generations to generations.
Cave Honey (Traditional Experience).
One of the most expensive honey from the area is the cave honey. Highly medicinal and very dark in color. These are always fetched by the gatherers, they know where and how to find the wild hives in caves by the bee eater bird signal. It is an adventure on its own and visiting apitourists may take part in the wild honey harvesting if they are up for it.
Our Apitourism product.
We try to make our apitourism products informative for educative purposes, wild for the adventurous souls and rich for those with investment motives.
In Baringo County you will learn of the types of hives available in Kenya. You will visit and see the Log hives, Box hives Kenya Top Bar Hives, and the Long stroth hive.
By visiting both traditional keepers, the modern keepers and the wild honey gatherers, you will get the different perspectives of what the worker bees collect. Their feeding habits also is very interesting because they tend to produce different types of honey. Without forgetting the sustainable bee keeping methods. You will also be educated in the pests and diseases that attack bees and their control measures as well.
Find out deeper on how the traditional keepers manage to harvest and handle the bee without getting the bees agitated as well as taking part in the modern methods.
You will visit a processing plant and sample the different kinds of the byproducts. A visit to the Maasai Mara will enlighten you on how deep the honey byproducts are used in Kenya.
One major challenge facing the local keepers in the market. Most of them, mostly in Baringo now sell their honey to small support group at a throw away price and some sell to the tourist along the road as Baringo county is a major hub for tourism in Kenya.
Maasai women and sustainable bee keeping.
The Maasai are also a community who traditionally gathered wild honey. Traditional methods worked for them. However, it wasn’t the best. In the process many colonies get burned reducing the quality and quantity of their harvest. Apart from fires, these methods are not friendly to the environment too. To help, several non – governmental bodies have provided bee keeping classes for the Maasai community. This is to teach the women of the Maasai community more sustainable practices. The lessons has helped them improve the quality and quantity of their harvest as well as to improve their livelihood. Our Apitourism product incorporates an interaction with these women who have crossed from the traditional ways to the modern ways of bee keeping so that at the end of your noble tour you have a recap of our transitional journey.