In the proposed Livestock Bill 2021, the State will outlaw farmers from keeping bees for commercial purposes except in an apiary or approved home of bees. These apiaries will require registration by the government if MPs pass the Bill into Law.

“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.

Persons interested in being commercial beekeepers shall apply for registration to the County Executive Committee (CEC) member for Livestock, who shall then duly register them is they qualify.

“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 further 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,” said Amos Kimunya, MP Kipipiri, the sponsor of the Bill.

Any persons who disregard provisions of the Livestock Bill 2021 will face a Ksh. 500,000 fine or a prison term not exceeding 1 year, or both.