Adoption of frame hives: Challenges facing beekeepers in Kenya


E. M. Muli, J.W. Kilonzo and J. K. Ngang’a

A survey and inspection of 45 apiaries with 568 hives in eastern, western and coastal regions of Kenya showed that beekeepers adopting frame hives face technical and management challenges. This paper highlighted some of the ‘beekeeping mistakes’ noted in apiaries as beekeepers transit from traditional hives to frame hives beekeeping which included but not limited to; improper arrangement of frames affecting bee space, lack of enough frames in brood and super boxes affecting colony manipulation, lack of pest control strategies, high cost and less durability of frame hives under tropical conditions, poor construction of frame hives, lack of comb foundation sheets, and lack of accessories such as extractors which hinders the intended purpose of reserving comb. For better adoption and performance of improved hives, the quality of hives needs to be improved through appropriate hive standardization policy and secondly, adequate beekeeper training and extension should be considered.

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