Bees At Home

In 2017 or so The Soft foot alliance took several community members to the eastern highlands for bee-keeper training. The Ndawonye herding project was giving young off-duty herders time in a carpentry workshop learning carpentry and what a perfect opportunity we had to make several dozen Kenyan top-bar hives. We set up a test site on the edge of the protected area where 18 bee-hives were placed around a crop field site and would be used to repel crop-raiding elephants.

Eventually, after bees came and went and several hives were raided by passing travelers we determined that there just weren’t enough bees to occupy all these hives around the field. It showed us that until the landscape was regenerated we probably couldn’t rely on getting enough bees to fill our hives and so the bee-hive fence was stopped. We carried the hives back to the Sobajimba community permaculture garden and set up an apiery there where water and flowers could be provided and more intense management of the bees could be provided. Since the first trip to the Eastern highlands for the initial bee-keeping training we brought a bee-keeper to our area and trained a further 30 community bee-keepers. They were all given the chance to make their own bee-hives at the carpentry workshop and they have taken them home. Some are occupied by many aren’t and we look forward to a day when we has done so much regeneration work that all our hives are filled with bees and honey.