Feedback: Bees will give you honey and money

Saturday January 13 2018

A bee keeper in his apiary.

A bee keeper in his apiary. Apart from the starter kits, it is necessary to keep beehives safe from predators and harsh weather. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

By SEEDS OF GOLD EXPERTS
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I AM INTERESTED IN BEE KEEPING

I understand that bee farming is a good venture. Kindly help me know how to go about it including the best hives and where I can get them especially around Thika.
Edwin

Bees are not only interesting to keep but can also put lots of cash in your pocket.

The precious insects give products like honey, wax, propolis and royal jelly. The uncomplicated venture is relatively cheap to start, easier to maintain and are require less inputs in terms of land, capital and labour.

Apart from the starter kits, it is necessary to keep them safe from predators and harsh weather. For commercial purposes, go for the Langstroth Hive which is easy to maintain, designed simple with ample space between brood chambers and supers and easy to inspect and harvest from.

These hives can be bought from The Hive Group Limited, email address [email protected] and telephone +254706349748 /+254731905263.

Set your apiary in a well-drained, less disturbed place far from noise or human activities. Keep off areas frequently sprayed with chemical pesticides to reduce bee poisoning and honey contamination.

For further reading on bee keeping read my article “A must-have starters’ guide to beekeeping” featured on 6th February 2016 available online.
Felix Akatch Opinya, Department of Animal Science, Egerton University.

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LOOKING FOR A SHREDDER

I have a one acre maize plantation which I want to convert into silage and I need a good maize shredder because I have realised chaff cutters are not the best. A chaff cutter slices the maize instead of squeezing the milk from the maize cob. Where can I find a maize shredder?
John Warui

You can obtain a good maize shredder from, among others:
1. Ndume Limited, Gilgil, situated 4 km along Gilgil - Nyahururu Road. Phone:  020-2186668/9, 2186671/2. Email: [email protected] 

2. Ecochicks Poultry Ltd situated at: Wakulima House – K.P.C.U Building 3rd Floor, Haile Selassie Avenue, Nairobi, Kenya. Phone: 0727087285 / 0723957547 Email:  [email protected]

3. Marina Machineries (K) Limited situated in Industrial Area along Lusaka Road
Phone:  +254 20 541785, 556685, 553272 or +254 733 635172. E-mail: [email protected]

Otieno Abich, Department of Agricultural Engineering, Egerton University

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WHERE DO I GET DORPER EWES?

Kindly advise on where I can get dorper ewes to buy. I am Collins in Isinya, Kajiado County.

Dorper breed of sheep is renowned for mutton production due to its faster growth rate, quality meat, fertility and ability to adapt faster.

Daljit Singh Wirk, a sheep farmer with some of the doper sheep that he keeps.

Daljit Singh Wirk, a sheep farmer with some of the dorper sheep that he keeps. To get both dorper ewes and rams, contact the Dorper Sheep Breeders Society of Kenya. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

These attributes have made this breed to be used in improving other sheep breeds, especially the Red Maasai. To get the both ewes and rams, contact the Dorper Sheep Breeders Society of Kenya through 0718614765 or email [email protected]

Sheep and Goats Station in Naivasha also have the breed and you can also visit the State Department of Livestock Production in Kajiado for more links with the breed keepers.

Felix Akatch Opinya, Department of Animal Science, Egerton University.

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GIVE ME THE CHILI 'HOTLINE’

This is concerning your article on chili farming that was posted on August this year. Would you by any chance have the contacts of la Fattoria limited that a farmer can call to get in touch with them? I would really appreciate it. Thank you in advance.
Peter Taro.

Please contact La Fattoria Limited through 0742 020733.

Carol Mutua, Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University

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LOOKING FOR ALOE VERA MARKET

I plant Aloe Vera on my half acre plot.  But I’m worried if there is any market for it in Coast. I marketed but only to get customers around Nairobi and Northern Kenya where transporting to those area is expensive.  I am situated in Coast, Malindi. Could you please advise on where should I market my produce around Coast?  One advice I got is to export. But I don’t know how it works, or where to start? 
Taha

You can look for companies which use Aloe vera to manufacture their products and communicate to the manufacturer.

A farmer tends his aloe vera plants.

A farmer tends his aloe vera plants. The plants have a host of health uses. FILE PHOTO | NMG

You can also add value to your Aloe vera and then sell.

Carol Mutua, Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University

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MAKING FEEDS FOR RABBITS AT HOME

I am a farmer based in Kiambu and for the last one-and-a-half years, I have been breeding rabbits for sale as meat. Unfortunately, I have found the cost of commercial pellets quite high while the price I am being offered is low. To improve my margins, I started mixing my own feeds consisting of dairy meal, wheat bran and other ingredients. My question is, is there a more effective mixture I could use to make the animals bulk up faster so that they are ready for market in four months, weighing 3kg and above? My current mixture does not seem to work as fast as pellets and there is also a lot of waste as it is not compacted like pellets.
Mike Chege

To bulk the animals faster for market, you need to offer them high quality feeds for the much needed nutrients. If your current mixture is not working, it could mean that the quality of the ingredients are questionable or you need to seek alternative ones that supply the same or even higher nutritive value.

This helps in addressing the deficits in current feed mixtures that might not be providing the needed nutrients or even in minimising quantities of feed wastes. Among the ingredients you can include are oats, barley and sunflower seeds.

Fredrick Agutu, Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.