Honey farmers count losses over migration of bees due to drought

Honey farmers of Lamu’s minority Boni community. PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: Honey farming which is the major economic activity of Lamu’s minority Boni community has completely collapsed following the migration of bees due to the ongoing drought.

The community says ever since the drought spell began all the bees have moved away and they are considered the key ingredients in honey making.

Speaking in Bargoni on Tuesday, the bee farmers said life has become tight following the collapse of their only trade which has seen them go for over ten months without harvesting a single drop of honey.

“Bees need water and flowers basically in order to make honey. Of course due to the drought that isn’t possible and as a result,the bees have completely migrated elsewhere leaving us with nothing to rely on. We are worried the bees might never come back even after the drought passes,” said Doza Diza.

Apart from honey farming,the Bonis are also known to be hunters and gatherers.

They however said even farming is impossible since most of the edible wildlife had moved away in search of water and food due to the drought and that wild fruits are no longer available in bushes and forests.

The community is appealing for relief food aid from the government and well-wishers.

According to Nixon Orwa of the World Wide Fund for nature-WWF which has been the main sponsor of bee farming for the Boni,climate change has a big role to play in what the community is going through.

“Climate change here is the issue;people are no longer sensitive to protecting the environment. A lot of damage is behind done that alters climatic conditions and resulting in what we are now witnessing all over the county and the world too,there is need for awareness creation of the need for conservation of the environment.” Said Orwa.