One of the main challenges of practising modern bee keeping in Africa is the security of the bee hives and certain pest like ants, and honey badgers, humans being the biggest vandals. Modern bee hives are placed low off the ground to make management easy and this of course makes vandalism very easy.
One of the best ways to overcome some of the above mentioned challenges is to place bee hives under a lock and key. This can be done by constructing a cost effective structure from locally available materials that can accommodate bee hives. The structure has no windows, just a secure door that can be locked. The bee hives are fitted with a pipe that goes through the wall, so that the bees can enter and exit through the pipe into each bee hive.
Tawi Lodge in Amboseli and Kilima camp in the Masai Mara ventured into bee keeping to add to their environment conservation activities and with the assistance from African Bee Keepers Ltd they set up one bee house in each lodge compound. The bee houses are both tucked very strategically away from the main lodge areas.
The first bee house was set up in Tawi lodge Amboseli and accommodates 23 bee hives while the second bee house was recently set up in Kilima camp in Masai Mara and accommodates 23 bee hives.
The Tawi lodge bee house has seen its first harvest of 10 full supers of honey, which produced 90 kgs of fresh honey, the honey was extracted on site by African Bee Keepers using a manual honey extracting unit. The honey will be processed and packed by Tawi lodge and will be put on sale in the lodge shop as Tawi Lodge Honey.