Bees deliver 2-4X boost in crop yields

In January, ODFL worked with Kiini Sustainable Initiative to install 53 beehives in southwest Kenya.  The goal was to boost crop yields at local schools, farms, farm co-ops, and in regional forests.  We just completed our first inventory of the hives. 

All of the hives have taken, meaning that they are forming combs inside, breeding, and producing honey.  They range from 50% to 70% mature.  Most importantly, the pollination effects are encouraging. 

For crops as diverse as maize (corn), coffee, avocados, beans, paw paw fruit, mangoes, macadamia nuts, and bananas, we are seeing 2X, 3X, and even 4X increases in yields.  Additionally, honey production—which lags hive maturity—is starting. 

Increases in yields are directly tied to increases in incomes.  If the yield differential is sustained, the effect will be revolutionary.  The hives cost about $100 apiece.  We expect to increase our investment in this project in the coming year. 

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