Mt. Elgon Bee Farmers Cry Foul as World Commemorates Bees Day


By Isabella Maua

Bee keepers within Mt.Elgon have decried neglect from both national and county government even as the world commemorated the World Bee Day on Saturday.

Speaking with The Times Newspaper, Moses Ngeywo, Chairperson Chepkitale Wildlife Conservation Network said that for the longest time the apiculture has been s neglected gold mine in the region.

“Lack of interest from our government and leadership has left us desperately on the losing end where we’ve been losing our bees gradually especially with the diminishing forest cover,” noted Ngeywo.

He also mentioned that as inhabitants of forest land, they need a lot of support from government to enable them reap the benefits of honey which is a lucrative business.

“Our greatest challenge is deforestation, use of harmful pesticides near hives and poor harvesting methods of honey which in several occasions have caused forest fires,” lamented Ngeywo.

Simotwo Cherotwoi, a bee keeper on the other hand cited lack of direction from policy makers on how to harness honey and extinction of exotic trees as the biggest hurdle in the sector.

“The reason our bees are reducing in size and number is lack of regulation of pesticides used in harvesting and tampering of the natural forest where bees find peaceful environment to colonize,” divulged Cherotwoi.

The encroachment of Mt. Elgon forest since 1971 to date has in greater way seen the reduction of  trees by half way leaving only the moorland and shrubs to thrive in the region.

Because of the purity and originality of Elgon honey, the English people transported some bees from Mt.Elgon at around 2015/16 so that they could be used for pollination  in England and get a taste of the quality honey.

“The government should focus on planting more exotic trees and reduce the prices of modern bee harvesting tools even making them tax free so that we can afford an environment friendly atmosphere for our lovely bees,” commented Cherotwoi.

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