RTÉ.ie, in association with the Simon Cumbers Media Challenge Fund, presents a special series focused on how keeping bees is helping some people in Kenya and Uganda to have greater access to income and food.

RTÉ.ie news journalist Blathnaid Healy travelled to the Rift Valley in Kenya where she visited the farms and apiaries of local beekeepers who are supported and taught by Baraka Agricultural College to find out if this small insect can make a difference in people’s lives.

In neighbouring Uganda, she went to the small town of Tororo where for the past few years Irish donors have supported a women’s bee keeping association through aid agency Bóthar.

A series of stories, with videos and photos, will examine whether keeping bees can enhance people’s food security particularly during a time of drought. It will look at the environmental impact of beekeeping as well as the increasing role played by women in the discipline and the challenges that some farmers have faced.

Part One: Putting food on the table

In part one, Blathnaid Healy travels to the Rift Valley in Kenya to see how bees can improve people's access to food and improve certain crops.

  • Read about a family who have used beekeeping to enhance their income and a farmer who keeps bees to pollinate his crops. Click to read
  • Learn more about food security from an expert on the topic. Click to read
  • Read an interview with an Irish man who lived in Kenya for 15 years and continues to keep several beehives in the Rift Valley. He explains how honey is made, why the price in African countries is so high, if colony collapse affects African bees and other questions. Click to read
  • Watch videos of beekeepers in the Rift Valley who explain more about their farms. Click to watch
  • Listen to a radio report from RTÉ Radio's World Report programme on beekeeping in Kenya. Click to listen

Part Two: The environmental impact

In part two, Blathnaid Healy looks at how keeping bees can make a positive difference environmentally.
  • Read about why bees provide an incentive for people to plant trees and the knock-on benefits this can have. Click to read
  • Brother Alan Farrell talks about the drought affecting Lare in the lowlands of Kenya's Rift Valley. Watch the video

Part Three: Women and beekeeping in Uganda

In part three, Blathnaid Healy travels to the town of Tororo in Uganda to meet beekeepers who were supported through Irish agency Bóthar.

  • Read about the benefits and the challenges the women in Tororo have experienced as they strive to generate an income for their families from beekeeping. Click to read
  • Watch a report about a woman called Annet, her successes and some of the problems experienced in the wider project. Click to watch
  • Learn about the woman with 40 beehives - who without knowing it - is the most successful beekeeper in Tororo. Click to read
  • Meet a family who are currently finding it difficult to make a living from beekeeping. Click to read
  • Find out some basic facts about the town of Tororo. Click to read
  • Take a look at photos from the women's beekeeping project. Click here