The future is not bright for the little honeybee. In Kenya, bees are being destroyed by the widespread use of harmful pesticides. Whilst the destruction of habitat and disease are making it even more difficult for these essential pollinators to survive as their environment disappears. There are only a few pockets left in the world where bees can thrive!! Northern Kenya is one such place. Elewana Collection has partnered with Beemagic ltd to source honey and beeswax products from pastoralist communities in the Ndoto Mountains and Loisaba conservancy. The project is creating an additional source of income for pastoral communities whilst contributing to conservation.
Traditional beekeepers go to extreme lengths to acquire honey – they will climb the tallest trees, and risk their lives just to acquire a few kilos. In the process, wild hives are usually destroyed with the entire contents being removed from the hive, leaving nothing for the bees. Open fires are used to smoke out the bees, and a careless beekeeper can set fire to huge expanses of pristine forest. Each year, these northern water towers lose hundreds of hectares of forest because of fires – destroying thousands of colonies of bees as well as many other endangered species.
Beemagic are working tirelessly to try and improve bee-keeping methods in Northern Kenya. By providing training and equipment, communities are able to increase the amount of honey they are producing and improve the quality. By using safe smoking devices, the forest fires have decreased and there is less loss of biodiversity.
By sourcing directly from these areas, Elewana are helping to create a market for this organic, raw honey and in turn, provide income for hundreds of beekeepers. Introducing this alternative means of income has relieved the pressure on natural resources and is helping to reduce land degradation. What makes this gourmet honey special is that it is Raw – meaning that it has not been boiled, processed or micro filtered and it still contains all the beneficial enzymes. Careful quality control means that the honey is simply extracted from the combs and is ready for consumption. Furthermore, the honey is varietal – throughout the season different tree species flower, each with a unique aroma and taste.
Honey pot of flavours:
There are two types of honey;
- Spicy Euphorbia - This honey has a naturally occurring slightly spicy aftertaste, making it a good option for 'dawa' cocktails and cooking.
- Acacia etbaica - This is the darker honey that is good for tea, toast and general use at the breakfast table.