The impact of hive type on the behavior and health of honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera) in Kenya

This article examines the best hive to use to obtain the maximum yield of honey in the country

Abstract

Kenyan beekeepers have for long been interested in maximising honey production and choosing the best hive for this. Because of the method used to raise bees in Kenya, the main decision that beekeepers make is whether to use traditional log hives, Langstroth hives, or Kenya top-bar hives.

This article examines the best hive to use to obtain the maximum yield of honey in the country. Findings show that the Langstroth hive is the most attractive to migrating bee swarms, followed by the traditional log hive, and then Kenya top-bar hive. Recommendations are that: additional studies should be carried out to understand the factors that attract swarms to hives; and the Kenya top-bar hive needs further improvement.

This is an output of the ‘African Reference Laboratory (with Satellite Stations) for the Management of Pollinator Bee Diseases and Pests for Food Security’ project. This works was partly funded by the UK Department for International Development, a core donor of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology.

Citation

McMenamin A., Mumoki F., Frazier m., Kilonzo J., Mweu B., Baumgarten T., Patch H., Torto B., Masiga D., Tumlinson J., Grozinger C. and Muli E. (2017) The impact of hive type on the behavior and health of honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera) in Kenya. Apidologie, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13592-017-0515-5

The impact of hive type on the behavior and health of honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera) in Kenya

Published 30 June 2017