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Liquid gold? How Kenyan farmers are earning Sh4,000 per gram of this product

This not only boosts their income but also contributes to community welfare through sustainable practices.

A woman at home counting money. Photo credits: Riska

Beekeeping is not just a tradition but a thriving industry in Kenya. Other than honey and wax, another product that is gaining popularity among beekeepers is bee venom.

Bee venom is a colourless, acidic liquid. Bees excrete it through their stingers into a target when they feel threatened.

Bee venom, composed of bioactive compounds like melittin, apamin, and phospholipase A2, is being increasingly recognized for its potential in various fields, most notably in medicine.

Beekeepers use specialized tools to extract bee venom.

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The application of bee venom in the realm of immunotherapy, particularly for treating allergies to bee stings, is a fascinating development.

This treatment involves controlled exposure to bee venom, which gradually builds tolerance in the patient.

However, this process must be managed with care, as it carries the risk of adverse reactions.

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In Kenya, bee venom adds significant value to the beekeeping industry. By diversifying their products to include bee venom, alongside honey and other bee-related items, Kenyan beekeepers have unlocked new economic opportunities.

This not only boosts their income but also contributes to community welfare through sustainable practices.

Bee venom is currently being sold at between Sh4,000 to Sh5,000 per gram depending on the vendor. In the international market, the price goes up to Sh16,000.

According to a local beekeeper Ezekiel Mumo, he ventured into selling bee venom because it guarantees his daily income as he waits for the harvesting of honey, which could take up to four months.

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Yet, harnessing bee venom is not without its challenges. Ensuring the purity of the venom, avoiding contamination, and maintaining the health of bee colonies require meticulous care.

The extraction process must be carried out skillfully to safeguard the bees, which are crucial for pollination and the health of ecosystems.

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