Langstroth Bee Hive For Beginner’s Bee Farmers

What is Beekeeping?

Beekeeping is defined as the maintenance and raising of honey bees by a beekeeper. Bees are kept in a structure known as a beehive. A place where more than two beehives are place is called a bee apiary. A bee apiary could either be in open area covered by forest or under a closed structure that is roofed, fenced and surrounded with either: timber, chain-link, wire-mesh or and iron sheets.


Beekeeping falls under livestock keeping. It therefore adheres to most of regulations that are laid forward by the livestock department in Kenya. In agri-farming beekeeping tops the list as the most profitable and scalable type of agriculture.

Cost Benefit Analysis in Beekeeping

Beekeeping is the most profitable venture as compared to its peers in agricultural sector. The reason why beekeeping tops the list is because of less inputs plus lesser labour intensiveness in its nature.  Langstroth hive produces up to 25 kilograms of honey per harvest. The maximum possible number of harvest depending on your region is 3 times. One kg of honey retails between Ksh. 600- 1,000. Therefore, a bee farmer can easily earn Ksh. 25,000 in one hive per harvest. Farmers can purchase Langstroth beehive from Beecare Africa ltd at the cost of Ksh. 5,000 per hive.  Order your beehive now

Honey production is an alternative source of income for most of communities that live in Arid and Semi Arid regions in Kenya. Although this has been the norm, of late communities even in other areas that are doing well in agriculture with well distributed rainfall, have decided to venture in this field due to the fact that bees are pollinators that boost food productivity.

This has been evident also in Coastal region with many of the farmers ordering beehives from as far as Nairobi. It is due to this demand in beekeeping equipment’s, trainings, and quality beehives that Beecare Africa ltd, established its offices in Mombasa county to serve the coastal bee farmers with ease. Also read

Honey production is an alternative source of income generation for many farmers in Coastal Kenya. There is a growing demand for improved quality and quantity of hive products which requires adoption of the use of modern methods of beekeeping. With this there is a huge gap for sensitization of the community and new entrants through trainings on modern beekeeping not only in the coastal region but also in Kenya.

Our experts do recommend to you the following procedural steps that if well followed can result to increase honey production.

i). Setting the Apiary:

Either have an open apiary of house apiary. The hives under open apiary should be made in a way that they do not allow excess sunshine to enter the hive which results in melting of the combs. Melting of the honey combs may render the hive unfavourable place thus making bees to swarm.

  • Site apiary at least 100 meters from the nearest house or and road.
  • Establish a hedge around the apiary to allow bees fly vertically as they leave and enter apiary.
  • Provide water to minimize menace of bees in houses.

ii). Make use of the modern Beehives:  

Types of Beehives 

Modern hives are of different types. Most common ones are: Langstroth beehives, Kenya Top Bar, Box hive etc. Beehives should have standard components i.e.

1). Brooder

2). Queen Excluder

3). Supper

4). Waxed 18-20 frames

5). Cover lid with aluminium sheet

  • Place card board under iron sheet lid to cushion excess heat for better bee
  • In addition can have a clearing board as another component for your langstroth hives.
  • Construct hives with timber that is termite proof, resistant to rotting due to effect of the sun and rain, warp proof and non-bee
    repellent e.g. mvule.

Why Langstroth Beehive is The Best Bee hive for Beginner’s                                                            Beekeeper?

Langstroth bee hive is mostly recommended bee hive for beginners. The reason why langstroth hive is considered is because of its easy and friendly to handle the frames. The frames of this hive are fitted with wires that gives the honey comb firm strength.

iii) Pests Control.

Bee’s biggest enemy is the crawling insects. These bee pests affect hive occupation and development of bee colonies. The common pests include wax moth, beetles, ants, bee pirates, spiders and squirrels/rodents.

  • In most cases where possible embrace the Metallic stands for all your hives
  • Maintain a strong colony to fight invading enemies.
  • Inspect the hives every month to remove cobwebs and rodents.
  • Maintain cleanliness of apiary.
  • Apply grease-insecticide mixture on the hive hanging wires.

Also read

iv) Handling of bees

a) Proper dressing:

The beekeeping kit comprises of the following:

  • Complete bee suit with veil (head gear), leather gloves and gumboots or ankle boots.
  • The other tools are the smoker, hive tool and bee brush.

b) Starting the Smoker

  • African bees are somewhat aggressive. Thus, to reduce their aggressiveness bee smoking is done with cool smoke from dry debris, wood shavings, saw dust start the fire from the bottom and then load smoking material  from the top and compress lightly until the smoker cylinder is filled to capacity.
  • Pump the gun severally until there is smoke. The smoker is now ready for us to use.                                                             

  c) Opening the hive:

  • Avoid approaching the hive directly at the bee entrance side, because obstruction of bees’ fly-path makes them aggressive.
  • Apply smoke into the hive from the entrance and around the lid and wait for two minutes and repeat before
  • With the lid open, tap the top bars or frames from the entrance backwards to determine the extent of comb construction. The point of change in sound signifies the end of comb construction.
  • Move two bars ahead and open the top bars or frames leaving adequate working space while directing smoke gently at this point so that bees remain inside the hive as you work.
  • Maintain gentle movements. Fast movements irritate bees.
  • Avoid crushing bees.

v) Harvesting honey

  • Do not harvest combs that contain brood or pollen as they will affect the quality of honey.

vi) Processing honey.

The basic equipment’s used by most of the Kenyan beekeepers are:

Honey Press machine,

Double Strainer Sieve,

Conical Sieve and

20L Food Grade Bucket with honey gate. Crush selected honeycombs then pass mixture through a series of strainers (60, 90 and 120 holes per square inch) by gravity for about 12 hours. Do not squeeze the honey combs where unnecessary.

vii) Packaging honey

Pack honey in plastic or glass jars for the market. Add more value to your packaging through branding your honey and other bee products.


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