Palestinian beekeepers collect honey at a farm in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip...Palestinian beekeepers collect honey at a farm in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, April 9, 2013. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA - Tags: SOCIETY)

I was always afraid of bees when I was young and for the record,I still do. Little did I know that their instigation of fear comes with monetary value. These creatures can make you filthy rich if you play your cards well. Most beekeepers in Kenya are amateurs, and keep bees as a hobby in preference to casual jobs. However, beekeeping can be very profitable using modern methods. In a normal season it is quite possible to achieve a profit over charges of one hundred percent or more. In addition, beekeeping doesn’t require acres of land, or any great physical strength to do it.

Four square feet of land is quite enough for a hive, and a small plot of twenty-five square feet could hold from 25 to 50 hives. No heavy labour is required because between five to six months of the year there is very little to do. And for the rest of the year, you will only need a quarter of an hour for seven days to spend on one hive. So even if you would go for twelve hives that is just three hours’ work for seven days.

It’s only light work as well and out in the fresh air. There are many so-called sideline beekeepers making some money of Ksh 200, 000 from around 90 hives from beekeeping business. I Know you are probably thinking of how this is a tempting venture. Most things require work of some sort, so if you’re enjoying what you do it’s not really like work anyway. 90 hives would require you to spend not up to 24 hours seven days on them at the sharpest time. Now just think how many hours seven days you watch TV and compare it with the working hours needed for beekeeping.

So can you imagine how much money you could make if you wanted to be a full-time beekeeper? Naturally you would need to establish slowly and steadily over a period of time, but even a couple of hives could make you a helpful addition to your finances. Let’s work from the figures above. If 90 hives can obtain around 200, 000 shillings, what about a small number of 12 hives? That should make around 27, 000 shillings. Moreover, you will be working with your hives for about three hours for seven days, and that’s only for six months in a year. Making a total of 72 hours of beekeeping time which will generate about 4000 shillings per hour.

Bee keeping might not be the ideal business. But I believe with its mathematical profit, it is up for consideration.

Agribusiness Information