20.1 C
Nairobi
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomebusinessBeekeeping: How Farmers Can Make Millions from Bee Venom

Beekeeping: How Farmers Can Make Millions from Bee Venom

While it is one of the most ancient economic activities, experts have argued that beekeeping is still under-explored.

However, farmers have started moving away from just keeping bees for honey but also other end products such as bee venom which is used in cosmetics.

Bee venom contains both anti-inflammatory and inflammatory compounds such as sugars, minerals, enzymes and amini acids.

The demand for bee venoms are expected to shoot soon as people shoft to more healthier and organic cosmetic products.

More recently, it is being collected from honey bees, and used in beauty treatments, from bee venom masks, to skin creams and beauty balms.

It is stated that the venom fools the skin, causing blood to rush to the treated area, and the skin to produce collagen and elastin.

For starters, bee venom is a colourless acidic liquid which bees excrete it through their stingers – explaining why bee stings are painful.

Local companies such as Yatta Beekeepers are selling sophisticated bee venom collectors which allows farmers to extract venom without harming the bees.

Retailing for Ksh 60,000, the collector consists of two panels with insulated wires running along its length and a glass on top of it.

The glass ensures that the bees can dispense their venom without ripping its abdomen open.

The wire grid produces small electrical charges which stimulate the bees by agitating them causing them to attack the source of the disturbance.

The venom is then deposited on the glass and collected by repeatedly dragging the scrapper along its surface. The collected powder is then stored in the small vials provided.

A bee venom collector PHOTO/Yatta Beekeepers

Savamah Honey founder Kyalo Mutua explained that bee farmers can make a kill from selling bee venom as most Kenyans rely on imports.

“We now have these products locally and we are providing solutions to these needs at a very low cost compared to importing the products,” he said.

Mutua added that the discovery of other end products from bees is in a bid to make beekeeping a lucrative venture.

He said this will also make products such as venom honey affordable locally – imported venom honey costs at least Ksh 12,000 but when it is locally produced it will retail for Ksh 4,800.

“Lacl of information remains the biggest challenge, yet this is a venture with high potential to earn the farmers a good fortune,” he said.

Through his company, Mutua is making steps to help farmers benefit from bee venom.

“We also get to train farmers on how to do the simple tasks on their own, and how to handle the commodity so as to maintain standards and best quality in the process,” he added.

Kenya produces about 100,000 metric tons of honey annually which is, however, an insignificant amount at just about 20 per cent of its potential.

Kenya has great potential in beekeeping as 80 per cent of the land mass is classified as arid and semi-arid.

These regions have an abundance of flora, such as acacia trees, and other factors capable of supporting a bee industry all year round.