Bee farmers to seek registration under proposed law

A beekeeper inspects a hive. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The State will outlaw farmers from keeping bees for commercial purposes except in an apiary or home of bees registered by the government if MPs pass a Bill into law.

Those who disregard provisions of the Livestock Bill 2021 face a Sh500,000 fine or a prison term not exceeding one year or both.

“A person shall not keep bees for commercial purposes unless in an apiary registered under this Act, own or possess bees or keeping equipment for commercial purposes unless the person is registered under this Act,” the State-backed Bill reads.

The Bill also stops a person from allowing bees to be kept on land owned or occupied by the person unless the land is registered under the Act as the location of an apiary.

The proposed law requires those wishing to be registered as beekeepers to tender their application to the county executive member responsible for livestock in the prescribed manner.

“The county executive member for livestock shall if satisfied that the applicant meets the requirement of registration prescribed in regulations, register the applicant and issue the applicant certificate of registration in the prescribed form,” the Bill states.

The Bill stipulates that the certificate of registration shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of issue.

“A person who becomes a beekeeper only because of the ownership, or the charge, care or possession or bees kept in a device of an approved kind and used for purposes of pollination of crop, is not required to be registered under this section if the bees and device are disposed of in the prescribed manner within eight weeks after the person becomes a beekeeper in relation to them,” Amos Kimunya who sponsored the Bill said.

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