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July 21, 2011

Researcher in Kenya changes lives through beekeeping education

Garreson Publishing runs a monthly e-mail newsletter for beekeepers (subscribe). This article is the first in a series of interviews of beekeepers from across the world.

Tom Carroll teaches beekeeping at Baraka Agricultural College in Molo, Kenya. He runs Apiconsult.com, which has articles about African beekeeping, including a fascinating picture gallery.

Honey and wax vary in color and flavor- do you have any favorite flavor from Kenya?

I think Acacia honey is the favourite in Kenya. Generally African honey is darker and stronger in flavour.

How big are your beekeeping classes, and how do you find students?

Our classes are 15-20 students and most of the students are sponsored by charities as ordinary farmers cannot afford even a modest fee – about 90 USD for a week including tuition, food and accommodation.

Have you experienced any cultural challenges teaching beekeeping?

Yes – the biggest problem is to try and understand what is appropriate for the circumstances of the local area where I work. That means getting rid of ideas to get the latest equipment etc – simple is better definitely. Often small beneficial changes to existing practices are the best way to go.

How significant is becoming a beekeeper to someone’s life? As I understand it here, most people are hobbyists, and of the people who keep bees for a living, very few of them are full time (it is an add-on to other farming).

While beekeepers are small scale – they are not necessarily hobbyists. Beekeeping is very important in contributing to people’s livelihoods. My own calculation is that...

full article...Making Beehives

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