There are over 20,000 known species of bees in the world, from bumblebees to mining bees to honey bees that normally live in hives run by beekeepers while others are solitary.
Honey is sweet and has antibiotic properties as well as trace amounts of antioxidants and vitamins, according to Healthline.com. Bees are not only useful for making honey, but also essential to the planet’s ecosystem.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, beekeeping can be practiced successfully in 80% of the country, both by individuals and by common interest groups. It is particularly suited to arid and semi-arid lands where other farming methods are not very practical.
Beekeeping contributes to income as well as food security through the provision of honey, beeswax, propolis, bee venom and royal jelly in medicine.
The development potential of beekeeping in Kenya is estimated at more than 100,000 metric tons of honey and 10,000 metric tons of beeswax per year, according to the ministry. However, currently only about a fifth of this potential is tapped.
Despite the downward trend in global honey production, the Kenyan case is different as more and more people are getting into beekeeping. However, a huge percentage of beekeepers use traditional methods which presumably lead to poor quality honey. In addition, the decline in revenue has been attributed to inadequate marketing infrastructure.
Peter Kitonga of Mwingi, Kitui County, sells a kilo of packaged honey at 800 shillings per kilogram, compared to 100 shillings per kilogram for raw honey.
There are many species of bees in the world, most solitary (living alone). A few species of bees are kept for pollination and honey production. In Kenya, the most important species is called the bee or Apis mellifera.
He shares ideas on how a beekeeper can benefit from added value.
Honey Glazed Nuts
Honey Roasted Nuts are mixed nuts coated in honey and cooked until crispy. Crunchy and sweet, they are the perfect snack to snack on at any time of the day.
They are very easy to prepare and in 30 minutes you can create something tasty using simple ingredients.
To start, you need nuts of your choice (peanuts work great), honey, butter, brown sugar, salt, and cayenne paper.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt the butter and honey in a medium saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted and combined with the honey. Keep stirring as it melts.
Add the walnuts and cayenne pepper (optional) to the skillet and evenly coat the walnuts with the butter and honey mixture.
Transfer the nuts to the baking sheet and spread them out in a single layer. Keep the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the nuts are golden brown. Make sure they roast evenly on all sides.
Remove the tray from the oven and sprinkle brown sugar and sea salt over the nuts and mix using two spatulas. Let cool and store in an airtight container.
A pack of 100 grams costs 100 Sh.
To make honey-butter, you only need two ingredients: honey and butter.
Take three quarter cup of butter and a quarter cup of honey. Mix butter and honey in a bowl until smooth. Cover and store in the refrigerator. It can be used as a spread for bread, cookies, among others.
The 500 gram pack can cost 550 Sh.
Beeswax furniture polish
According to Kitonga, it is the best varnish for any wood. The simplest recipe for polishing is to mix beeswax with a suitable solvent such as white spirit or turpentine. The proportions should be 200 grams of beeswax with 0.5 liters of solvent.
“The proportions can be varied to give the required consistency. If less solvent is used, the mixture will be more of a paste than a liquid. Carefully heat the solvent in a saucepan and the beeswax in a separate saucepan, until the beeswax melts.
With both liquids at the same temperature, pour the solvent into the wax and stir well. Pour into prepared glass jars or pewter containers.
If available, carnauba wax (from the leaves of the Copernicia prunifera palm) makes an excellent ingredient for shoe polish and eliminates the slight stickiness of beeswax. Carnauba wax has a high melting point (83-85 degrees centigrade), imparts hardness and a very shiny finish.
“If available, substitute 50 grams of beeswax in the recipe above with carnauba wax,” says Kitonga.
Such mixing can only be done at an agreed price through orders.
Propolis is a resin-like material produced by bees to fight infections, heal wounds, etc. You can use it to prepare a medicinal and soothing cream by gently melting together one part beeswax, four parts liquid paraffin, one part propolis grains and one part honey. Stir the mixture continuously until it is melted and combined, and continue to stir as it cools and thickens.
Honey in alcoholic beverages
Honey can also be used to make alcoholic beverages, such as honey beer.
To do this, you need a calabash or calabash for faster fermentation, sprouted corn or millet, crushed brood combs, one part comb honey or liquid honey and four parts of water.
Lightly crush the sprouted corn and pour the contents into the calabash. Brewers infusion can also be used although the fermentation is slow and takes longer. Some use roasted corn grits. Add a little crushed brood comb then add one part water.
Leave overnight in a warm place to activate the fermentation process. Then add four parts lukewarm water, one part sealed (crushed) comb honey.
“Put the calabash with its contents in a warm place. After two hours, fermentation should begin. You can tell if fermentation is taking place by watching the bubbles come out of the gourd. The broth should appear boiling,” says Kitonga.
“The first and second batches of honey beer are slower to ferment because the starter or inoculant (germinated corn/brood comb) is still building up. Reusing the starter and gourd will allow for much longer fermentation. fast.
The first brew of honey beer takes about 12 hours to be ready. The second brew of beer takes about 10 hours. Continuously brewing the honey beer using the same gourd reduces the time the honey beer is ready to six to eight hours. The starter can only be replaced after three months of continuous use of the calabash. Alternatively, you can add more starter when the fermentation process slows down.
The mixtures must be in the correct proportions as described above. The use of the calabash guarantees you 90% of good results. Too much brood can cause acidity and mealiness in the beer. Too much sprouted corn can make honey beer sour and rendered useless.
Using regular buckets extends the fermentation process to days or even weeks and there is no guarantee that you will get good results.
Too much honey in the mix can slow fermentation until the brew turns sour or stays too sweet for days. Too much water makes beer acidic and makes you cringe. The water for the mixture should be lukewarm.
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