International Studies & Programs

Cell Phones as a Lifeline for African Beekeepers

This GCFSI-funded project will construct a knowledge base using data on management practices, health, and production of honey bee colonies, supplied by beekeepers themselves, mainly via text messaging. These data, combined with GIS technology to map hive locations and foraging landscapes, will be used to identify the best management practices and most productive landscapes for honey bees. 


Project Implementers: Maryann Frazier, H. Patch and C. Grozinger Penn State University, E. Muli B.K. Muli and Patrick Kariuki, South Eastern Kenya University

Currently, Kenyan beekeepers cannot keep up with the local demand for both honey and beeswax. At the same time, very little is understood about local best management practices. Most beekeepers have little to no interaction with other beekeepers in Kenya or extension educators. This GCFSI-funded work will construct a knowledge base using data on management practices, health, and production of honey bee colonies, supplied by beekeepers themselves, mainly via text messaging. These data, combined with GIS technology to map hive locations and foraging landscapes, will be used to identify the best management practices and most productive landscapes for honey bees. Beekeepers in turn will receive recommendations, generated from the data they supplied, on improved practices and locations for maximizing honey and wax production via cell phones.