Uganda Honey

Honey in its purest

Beekeeping in Rwanda……..The feasibility study…………………….

It was just like yesterday when I conducted feasibiltiy study on the honey industry in Uganda in 2001. Rwanda beekeeping industry is still at an infant stage. There are so much room for growth. I was very impressed with the vegetations Rwanda has. Rwanda do have the potential to become a major honey player in the international scene. But then again, its easier said than done because my findings had seen a number of issues that requires serious interventions. If not it cannot bloom beyond the horizon.

The rush into modernization without even knowing whether the farmers are ready for it is one of the serious issue. The lack of knowledge both on the behaviours of the african bees and the utilization of modern beehives will stunt the growth of this industry. I am not sure were there any financial planning in creating a sustainable enterprise being sensitized to the farmers before they embark on the business.

Farmers invested heavily in bee house but not knowing how to colonize hives. All sitting nicely but no where to go. The production of traditonal beehives were just digging a hole through a trunk without analyzing whether will there be rooms for proper harvesting. Prudent financial planning is needed in order for the farmer to start a beekeeping business. Without proper education, farmer's financial will be exhausted in buying expensive hives even before seeing some returns for a long time.

Regular hive management is required for langstroth. A small colony will never grow if temperature control is not observed for this kind of hive.

A modern langstroth beehive is supposed to increase the production and for easy handling of the bees. Here you see a langstroth bee hive being sealed completely with clay. The bees will definitely turn more aggressive when farmer tries to pry open the hive during inspection or if there were any regular inspection at all. The bees are naturally more aggressive than the european bees, but they are made even more aggressive if the farmer were to handle the hive with so much disturbance and movements.

A modern beehive is a double edge sword. It can produce 3 times more than a traditional beehive if managed properly, but it can also be a white elephant if it was use without proper know how.

Bad handling of bees lead to aggressive behaviour. Aggressive bees make harvesting difficult. Farmers start to rush through harvesting using a lot of smoke. Bees become even more agressive with so much smoke. Farmer start killing bees. The hive will be filled with smoke thus making the honey taste smokey. Many contaminants are deposited onto honey. Quality drops. Honey will not be able to meet the necessary requirements.

Think of the process, not the outcome. If the process is right, the outcome will be right.

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February 22, 2011 - Posted by | apiculture, bee colony, bee hive, Beekeeping, beekeeping journal, beekeeping training, Honey Quality Control, Sustainable Beekeeping | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. very true, too much smoke makes the bees aggresive

    Comment by ntwatywa nicholas | October 30, 2012 | Reply

  2. Good afternoon,

    I just read this blogpost and I find it very interesting. My name is Machiel Kuipers and at the moment I’m working for a Dutch foundation near Masaka, Uganda. We have just started a beekeeping project for educational purposes and during some surfing on the internet I found out that beekeeping can be a great way of securing a sustainable income for many people. What I’m mosltly interested in, is to export honey. I’m curious what the current status is of the exportation of honey from East Africa. From the Ugandan Beekeeping Association I understood that it is done, but only on a very small scale.
    Is there a possibility I can get in touch with you so we can share some information about this?

    Thank you very much in advance.

    Best regards,

    Machiel Kuipers

    Comment by Machiel Kuipers | March 13, 2012 | Reply


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