The Hive is a leading specialist in modern beekeeping equipment and beekeeping services in Kenya where it works closely with beekeepers focusing on increasing production and quality of bee products such as honey and beeswax.
The Hive Limited over the years has focused on increasing quantities of honey, wax and other bee products to meet the high demand. The company which has commercial hubs in West Pokot, Baringo, Turkana, Makueni, works with beekeepers to form Self-help groups and transforms them into co-operatives. The numerous innovations made by The Hive Limited have transformed livelihoods, food security, environmental conservation as well as crop yield quality in many aspects.
Through the KKCF funding, the company is helping tap the huge beekeeping potential in Kakuma and Kalobeyei through a commercial beekeeping hub that will provide economic and nutritional benefits among refugees and host communities.
What attracted you to the Kakuma/Kalobeyei area? Why did you choose to apply for the KKCF funding?
The funding objectives were aligned to those of The Hive Ltd, and KKCF funding presented an opportunity to expand the Company’s portfolio considering that Turkana offers high potential for beekeeping. Although The Hive Ltd had undertaken beekeeping interventions previously in Turkana, KKCF presented an opportunity to set up a more holistic investment on a larger scale.
What do you look forward to doing in Kakuma/Kalobeyei? How do you see your business growing in the next 5 years? What challenges have you had to overcome?
The Hive Limited looks forward to promoting good practices in beekeeping through training and the provision of extension services to enhance production and productivity. This will be achieved with the establishment of two beekeeping commercial hubs and excellence centres in Kalobeyei and Oropoi. The Company intends to support beekeepers to increase the quantities of honey as well as ensuring it is market ready by improving its quality. The Company’s demand for honey currently stands at 600MT annually for its 12 shops across the country, and it is likely to increase further.
The main challenge facing The Hive Ltd. is the dependency mindset among the local community due to high poverty levels as well as the non-commercial approaches to beekeeping previously undertaken by
other development partners in the area. The expectation for hand-outs is persistent, thus undermining the commercial approach that Company intends to take for the project.
What are some of the foreseeable impacts in the Kakuma and Kalobeyei area following your interventions?
The Hive Ltd will provide a market for all honey produced among beekeepers in Kalobeyei and Oropoi. Our interventions will increase incomes among beekeeping households from the sale of honey to the
two commercial hubs. We will also create employment opportunities for the local community, including 23 formal jobs, as well as utilising both skilled and unskilled labour among the local community. Our commercial approach will unlock the potential and stimulate the growth of beekeeping activities in Oropoi and Kalobeyei. We will promote modern beekeeping technologies and equipment, and secure inclusion for
women and Persons with Disability.
What advice would you give other SMEs that are working in fragile/difficult situations, with refugees and their host communities?
There are enough opportunities to transform the lives of communities. Some of these require a shift in the current approaches and interventions. Integrating commercial approaches with charity interventions to address poverty, increases the potential for higher impact.