The 6th of August, 2013 saw the delivery of 41 langstroth bee hives at the Trilateral Partnership for Food Security office at the zero grazing area, Egerton University.
This was made possible by the Trilateral Partnership for Food Security, a program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Being less disruptive to bees during inspections and its better yields in terms of honey production compared to others, this is the most recommended beehive.
The brood chamber and the honey super are divided such that only the available honey is harvested. The frames of the super fit perfectly into the extractor and in this way the combs are not destroyed every time honey is harvested.
The langstroth hives uses frames which are often filled with some form of foundation therefore, giving the bees a proper starting position and a template for building comb.
These beehives impose artificial segregation of the colony by physically dividing honey from brood by the use of brood chambers, which provide residence for the bees and also enhances the development of brood. In addition, it has honey suppers which facilitate excessive collection of honey by the langstroth hives.
These types of beehives have been deemed to have more advantages over other types of beehives which include;
- they make better use of chimney effect by allowing heat and moisture to rise up and out of the hive in situations where ventilated top covers are used;
- the process of honey harvesting in this type of hives has been made easier due to the usage of a clearing board and an extractor; since honey is often extracted from reusable comb, only small amounts of wax is lost during honey production.
This therefore means that the same comb if properly stored can be used season after season without it being replaced by the bees, rendering langstroth hives more effective; due to their modular design, they are perfect for expansion and contraction of particular hives. Hives can be made larger to fit more bees or smaller to fit fewer depending on seasonal population.
Beekeeping offers a great potential for development and is comparatively less demanding in terms of investment, labour and time. Beekeeping is advocated to improve human welfare by alleviating poverty through increased household income; it is a source of food, medicine and a raw material for various industries.
The project will help the students in carrying out extensive research in beekeeping and production.
This move by the Trilateral Partnership for Food Security of introducing the langstroth beehives in the project apiary based at Egerton University in such a large number, will serve as an eye opener to the local community on the advantages and benefits that come along with the usage of the above named beehives; making them to abandon their indigenous methods of beekeeping as a result, smallholder beekeepers in the surrounding community will have increased harvest of honey and marketing of bee products; this will improve their household incomes and livelihoods.