Danson Kithinji at his workshop in Kavutiri Shopping Centre, Embu. [Photo: Joseph Muchiri/Standard] By Joseph Muchiri Embu, Kenya: There is a Swahili proverb that loosely translated says, “follow the bee to eat honey”. Danson Kithinji, 32, has taken it literally, and is the better for it. Mr Kithinji, who is a trained mechanical engineer, has 40 beehives across Embu County. His business, Nyukiz Care Services, has done so well that aside from selling honey, he has ventured into making beehives and supplying honey harvesting suits. Kithinji feels beekeeping remains an untapped economic activity in the country, even though it provides a hustle-free way to generate income from a small piece of land.
For instance, he says, a piece of land measuring 10 square metres can hold 20 beehives, which can be harvested in six months. “One beehive can produce about 14 kilos of honey twice a year. With a kilo of quality honey fetching between Sh500 and Sh1,000, one can make between Sh14,000 and Sh28,000 from one beehive a year,” he says. Kithinji’s apiary of 40 beehives has become a passive source of income as he uses most of his time training other bee farmers. He also constructs beehives for clients from across the country at his workshop in Kavutiri Shopping Centre in Embu. He advises keeping Langstroth hives over Kenya Top hives as the former have standard measurements that allow a centrifugal machine to easily fit in and extract honey. Kithinji explains that with a Langstroth hive, a farmer is able to harvest honey without breaking honey combs, which allows bees to get back to making honey immediately, so it is more profitable.
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