Ezekiel Mumo, 25, who used to keep bees just for fun while still young unaware of the insects’ economic value has eventually converted the hobby into a lucrative agribusiness practice which is now earning him about Sh700,000 annually.
At his tender age he used to see his grandfather and uncles practice beekeeping and he could assist them in the work after school or during holidays until he became used to it as he loved bees and was curious to learn and know more about them.
“I started bee keeping at the age of 10, my grandfather had hives and due to curiosity I would accompany my uncles as they went to set the hives and during harvesting among other activities,” said Mumo.
He is now a well-known beekeeper in the village he comes from, back in Masinga, Machakos County. He set his first apiary in 2015 while he was still in secondary school and would harvest the honey during school holidays and then sell it to a neighbour, who would buy a 20-litre bucket of the stuff for Sh15, 000.
This money he used to pay his school fees, as his pocked money, and help his parents meet other family expenses.
Currently Mumo runs an apiary of 26 beehives which seats on a two hectare family land in Masinga and Kithyoko in Machakos County.
Mumo has four seasons of harvesting every year. “I do harvesting four times a year, in a season I can harvest up to 200 kilograms of honey giving me between 800 and 1000 kilograms of honey per year.
He sells a kilo of honey at Sh700 to retailers, local shops, and individuals who make orders of up to 50 Kilos of honey.
Due to his consistency in business and the value of his produce, he also get new customers through referrals by his loyal buyers.
Mumo is now in his fourth and final year at Multimedia University where he is pursuing Bachelor in Business Information Technology and he could have been through with the studies this May if it were not the lecturers’ strike taking place in the country at the moment.
“I was planning to finish my studies this month but since lecturers went on strike our studies have been affected and we may be force to wait longer finish our programmes and graduate,” said Mumo.
With about ten years of experience in the venture, he is also selling beekeeping equipment besides inspecting other clients’ hives especially during time off school.
“Beekeeping is something I started long ago even before campus, and if you do something for quite long time you gain interest in it, I love apiculture so much, because it has given me a good platform for championing for food security and also environment conservation,” said Mumo.