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Temporary beehives ward off disturbance raise output

mombasa coast beekeepers beehivesBee­keep­ers can re­strain an­im­als and human be­ings among other strangers from dis­turb­ing the in­sects by con­struct­ing tem­poral struc­tures a few metres from homesteads to house them and en­able them to focus on their activ­it­ies fur­ther in­creas­ing their pro­ductiv­ity.

In this, one may re­quire about a quarter an acre to raise 20 bee­hives under trees and ar­ti­fi­cial sheds away from homes. But such a house will need only 0.0055 acres.

“A tim­ber walled house with an iron sheet rooftop meas­ur­ing 12 feet by 20 feet can host up to 20 Lonng­strath hives placed about three feet apart. The house re­duces un­ne­ces­sary human and an­imal con­tact with the bees as well as safety of the bees from thieves,” he said.

Keep­ing bees near home also re­duces at­tacks from pests like snakes and other birds, which are pre­val­ent in forest areas and along river banks.

Ndege, however, warns that the house must have open­ings to the rooftop to en­sure that the bees exit ver­tic­ally as they go search­ing for nec­tar.

In or­din­ary set ups, cows, goats, and other an­im­als may rub them­selves against trees hold­ing sus­pen­ded hives, there­fore ini­ti­at­ing at­tacks.

Bees are ag­gress­ive when they move ho­ri­zont­ally. If they are ob­struc­ted dur­ing their move­ment into or out of the hives, they take of­fence. One sting trig­gers the en­tire stock to rise against the ‘in­truder’ be­cause of the smell of the venom.

RE­LATED ART­ICLE: Bio bees triple yields in green­houses

Nyangaresi Nyamira, a mem­ber of an­other group who has set up 10 hives in a tim­ber struc­ture, said grow­ing crops like Napier grass out­side the houses helps in re­dir­ect­ing any bee that may be mov­ing ho­ri­zont­ally to the ver­tical dir­ec­tion.

“The tim­ber pro­tects ob­jects that chil­dren may throw at the hives. An­im­als will only rub them­selves against the walls of the house, without ne­ces­sar­ily shak­ing the wooden boxes. This re­duces the danger of at­tacks,” Nyamira said.

His 10 hives are housed in a tim­ber struc­ture that is less than 20 metres from his house at Bor­ioba Vil­lage, Nyamira County.

RE­LATED ART­ICLE: Bees cre­ate sweet times for semi arid area farmer

Ndege said the struc­tures are also ef­fect­ive in se­cur­ing the hives from harsh en­vir­on­mental con­di­tions such as strong wind, the sun and the rain.

Strong sun­light makes wax to melt while rain de­teri­or­ates the wooden boxes, there­fore, re­du­cing their life span.

The roof is 15 metres high, to allow for free air cir­cu­la­tion and re­duce warm­ing up dur­ing hot days.

RE­LATED ART­ICLE: El­doret farmer cre­ates buzz in mar­ket with sting­less bees

Nyamira is a mem­ber of Geturi Vis­ion Women Group, which com­prises 11 women and four men.

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