The Passionate Beekeeper

A beekeeper smoking a hive.

A beekeeper smoking a hive. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rwanda: Kayuki 

JUST AT THE AGE OF EIGHT, while still a primary school pupil, Vincent Hakizimana aka Kayuki started installing beehives in what turned out to be his life-long passion and sole income earner.

WDA General Director, Jerome Gasana (L) chats with Albert Nsengimana, the State Minister for Education.

As he grew up, his interest in beekeeping increased and at about 18, he had already installed 40 traditional hives.

His love and passion for beekeeping has earned him the name Kayuki, literally meaning the Little Bee, which name he is proud of.

“I love bees, their way of life, communication and bonding,” Kayuki says.

When asked how he communicates with the bees, Kayuki says: “Whenever the bees are in danger or have produced honey, they come and surround you and you will know something is happening.”

When his father, who is now 73, introduced him to beekeeping, Kayuki, then a primary school pupil, immediately picked interest in the field and has never turned back.

Now 31 years down the road, Kayuki remains a dedicated and celebrated beekeeper in the Southern Province.

He, however, insists practicing beekeeping requires devotion, passion, determination, and hard work.

Sole source of income

Kayuki graduated from the then National University of Rwanda (NUR) in 2005 with a diploma in clinical psychology.

With such training, many thought his interest in beekeeping was coming to an end. They expected him to look for a white collar job but he never took that direction and continued with beekeeping.

Today, Kayuki has over 73 beehives, mainly modern hives. Each hive gives him between 45 and 60 kilogrammes of honey annually. He plans to raise the number to 250 beehives, with hope that this will also boost his income.

“Although I graduated from a recognised university, the idea of looking for a job has never crossed my mind,” Kayuki says, as he stands inbetween the field where some of his beehives are installed.

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