The demand for propolis in Kenya has skyrocketed with very few people engaged in its production mainly because of lack of information.
Propolis is a high-income earner which if exploited can triple the income of a beekeeper.
“Many people think of bees only in terms of honey. While honey itself is great for wealth, health and job creation, it is of the lowest value compared to the other bee products,”
says Kyalo Maveke CEO Savannah Honey – a leading company in promotion of Honey,Propolis,Royal Jelly and Bee venom production in Africa.
Propolis is a sticky substance collected by bees from buds or bark of trees.
Bees use the material for reducing the size of the hive entrance, filling cracks, polishing the interior of the hive, strengthening comb attachment, killing intruders by covering them and as barriers against ants (nest defense).
Propolis is used in human medicine and for veterinary purposes.
Currently several pharmaceutical companies across the world use propolis in the production of drugs. Several other companies use propolis for manufacturing of medicinal soaps because its antibiotic properties inhibit the growth of microorganisms. It is also used for making adhesives e.g. glue, wood pastes for sealing leaking roofs and cracks on wooden furniture. When chewed it heals backaches.
Commercial propolis harvesting involves the use of the propolis collector which is a plastic mesh sheet which the bees use to build the propolis on. When harvesting propolis, the beekeeper should:
Savannah Honey is currently recruiting clients on a 5 years contract for production of honey and Propolis. Under this programme;
Savannah Honey supplies 10 and above specialized langstroth hives together with the Propolis Collectors to the client (for commercial purposes we advise clients to start with 20 hives or more but clients can also start with few and increase the number with time)
Savannah Honey undertakes the delivery and installation of the hives.
Savannah Honey manages the apiary (provides technical support to ensure maximum colonization and production).
Savannah Honey provides harvesting and marketing services for 5 years.At an event the client gets a buyer with a better offer, they can sell to them but retain at least 20% for Savannah Honey.
Below is a brief summary of the estimated cost and income for production of Propolis and Honey with 20 Langstroth hives.