The icipe Bee Health Project

The overall objective of the proposed action is “To enhance the contribution of bees and other pollinators to food security and improved livelihoods in Africa”.
The purpose of the action is “To improve bee products and pollination services through reduced incidence of bee diseases and pests, enhanced markets access, and bee health institutional environment


Protecting African Bees for food security and health

Core to the programme is the monitoring and looking at ways to improve the health of bees around Africa in order to enhance food security and boost agriculture.

The Bee Health Programme's activities revolve around four key areas:


  • Development of a research network around the continent
  • Bee disease and pest management
  • Boosting rural livelihoods
  • Knowledge exchange & innovation
Boosting rural livelihoods

Looking beyond bee health and protecting crop pollination, the project will also work to boost rural livelihoods by developing community owned marketplaces for honey, wax and other bee products. The laboratory will also house hi-tech facilities for developing plant-based biopesticides to combat the pests and diseases that might be affecting African bees.

Knowledge exchange & innovation

Additionally, the laboratories will serve as a hub of knowledge and innovation for farmers’ federations, national agricultural research systems scientists, NGOs and community-based organisations, and it will provide a forum for creating links with the private sector and agribusiness. The laboratories will also organise regular trainings to raise the standards and productivity of beekeeping in Africa.

Developing a research network around the continent

Researchers will be trained and placed in strategic locations across the continent with the aim of monitoring the health of bee populations and detect emerging pests & diseases and respond before they become a threat to food security. The network of labs for bee health intents to achieve the following goals:


Generate knowledge on bee diseases & pests and their control for farmers and beekeepers
Create rural employment for youth and women especially, who can easily diversify and boost their sources of income by also raising bees
Provide evidence-based knowledge that can help guide policymaking to support a robust bee keeping community and to scale up the undertakings to turn more beekeepers into entrepreneurs
Improve honey production and enhance access not only to markets in Africa but also beyond