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Kenyan beekeepers target Europe for export of lucrative bee venom

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Kenyan beekeepers are looking to penetrate the lucrative European bee venom market which can earn beekeepers Sh6,475 a gram.

The global bee venom market has grown by five per cent over the past few years owing to its use in the medical and cosmetic industries. 

Today, the bee venom market is estimated to be worth Sh89.7 billion with demand expected to keep growing thanks to the rising popularity of bee venom therapy which can cure ailments that do not respond well to traditional Western medicine as well as its growing use in treating arthritis, acne, nerve pain, multiple sclerosis, scarring from skin cancer amongst other illnesses. 

“We have sent out bee venom samples to Europe for approval and hope to begin exporting it to Europe by the end of the year,” said Tony Nzomo, the co-founder of Yatta Beekeepers Limited.

Despite having already collected bee venom, the company has yet to find a market in Kenya.

Bee venom is collected using a bee venom collector– a specialised tool that can harvest venom from bees without them dying or being harmed.

The collector has a protected electric wire which when turned on produces small electrical charges that stress bees once placed on top of their hive. These bees attack the source of the disturbance depositing their venom. This is then picked with a scrapper dragged across the collecting surface. 

The collected bee venom powder is then stored in small airtight bottles.

“Depending on the health and amount of bees in a hive, less than a gram of venom can be ‘milked’ from one hive in a one-hour harvesting session,” said Tony.

A healthy hive can have up to 60,000 worker bees, each having a microscopic amount of venom. A beekeeper will ‘milk’ at least three hives to get one gram of venom.

Venom can be ‘milked’ weekly or after two to three days depending on the health of your bees.

Yatta Beekeepers: 0740 102284

Read more: Farmer extracts millions from bee venom

Temporary beehives ward off disturbance raise output

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