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EXPLAINER: How to harvest honey

 BEEKEEPING is a favourite income earner for most Mwingi residents. It requires little investment but one has to do it the right way for maximum results.

Left to Right: Bringing the torch near the hive to make bees move to the back side of the hive for harvesting honey. Green bucket with newly harvested honey combs. The far right photo shows Alfred Mutua (partly hidden) sorting honey before it is packaged to clean bottles for sale. Photo/MUSYOKA NGUI

Mwingi Times was invited by a farmer to go an accompany him in honey harvesting. To accomplish the task, Shadrack Muthui said that one has to have a torch made from a strong hardwood tree.

After looking around, we came across a mugaa (acacia tree) which he cut and chopped to pieces. After chopping, he tied the that part and told our reporter who was his assistant to go and light the torch in an earthen jiko which was already burning.

“We should use this wood which has little smoke and is able to burn for long”, said Muthui.

After lighting the torch, the honey harvesters went to the forest where beehives were located.

When Mwingi Times team arrived at the kyusya tree where the beehive is situated, Muthui took charge and went straight to the cover of the hive. All this time, the bees were humming but were not violent.


“When you reach at this spot, you bring the torch closer to the door of the hive. This is to make the bees go to the other end so that you can check if the honey is ready. After that, you slice the combs and put to the bucket”, he said while requesting for the working tools to be brought near him.

Since the combs are full of dense dripping and sweet honey, a harvester is supposed to be careful in handling the bucket to avoid dropping it while collecting honey. This will make him/her incur losses which runs into thousands of shillings.

Shadrack Muthui harvesting honey on March 15, 2022 in Kalimbui village, Kitui County. Video/MUSYOKA NGUI

One kilo of honey varies from a seller to another but the current price is KSh600 in Tseikuru town. Depending on availability and other market forces, the price can go upto KSh1000.

One hive can yield up to 20 kilograms of honey per harvest.

Once done with harvesting one hive, it is important to close the hive to avoid intruders. They include nzee, kavale and nyamu (snakes) which come to feed on the hive products.

Harvesting is done at night.

Although experts in their field, the farmers lacked special clothes to harvest honey to avoid being stung while at work.

To place orders, customers within Tseikuru town can reach Camp Nou manager Alfred Mutua and pick their honey.  Those who stay away can have their shopping delivered by courier. 

Camp Nou enterprises trades countrywide including to Nairobi and other cities. All at affordable prices.


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