Ogieks return to class for commercial bee-keeping
Posted Tuesday, December 10 2013 at 18:20
than 400 members of the Ogiek community have benefited from a training in
commercial bee-keeping aimed at helping the traditional hunter-gatherers to
diversify into business.
believed to be among communities with the smallest population in the country,
have a history of hunting for wild meat in the forest and gathering fruits and
to the Ogiek People’s Development Programme executive director Daniel Kobei,
capitalising on the skills in honey gathering to expand into commercial bee
farming would boost livelihoods.
are buying the Ogieks hives to start rearing the bees in large scale. This
will offer them an alternative source of livelihood considering that they are
no longer living a sedentary life of hunters and gatherers,” said Mr Kobei.
far, more than 400 Ogieks brought together in groups have established apiaries
in areas such as Mariashoni and Mau Narok.
Kobei said the initiative will be part of conserving the Mau Ecosystem as
research shows that bees play a great role in protecting tree species from
the developed countries, bees are used to pollinate large plantations of crops
like in the United States of America. Studies have also shown that some trees
cannot grow without pollination.
therefore, if we have the Ogiek living within the Mau Forest Complex rear them
in large numbers then we will also be conserving the ecosystem,” noted Mr
Ogiek inhabit five counties, including Nakuru, Narok, Kericho, Uasin Gishu and
are looking at involving women more because they are the most neglected in the
community. This initiative will enable them get a source of living,” added
keeping, especially in the Mau Forest Complex, is a key element in protecting
the indigenous tree species from extinction as 70 per cent of them depend on
insect pollination for growth, according Stephen Kagio, an expert in bee
has shown that over 70 per cent of the trees in the world including the
indigenous species directly or indirectly depend on insect pollination for
their existence,” said Mr Kagio.