Beekeeping is among the livelihood diversification strategies likely to be affected by climate variability. Changes in climatic variables in varying degrees will affect the productivity of bees because honey production depends on temperature and rainfall. Variation in temperature and rainfall influence the activity of honeybees. The study focused on the relationship between climate variability and honey production for the pastoral communities. Social survey research design was applied and a structured questionnaire administered to 100 household heads who practice beekeeping. Focus group discussion (FGDs) and interviews were used to collect supplementary data. Secondary data was obtained from the relevant institution, journals, books and publication. Rainfall for the period of 2012 to 2016 was analysed using excel. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data: correlation, frequency, percentages, measures of central tendency and dispersion. The results revealed decreasing annual rainfall from the year 2012 (1623.4mm) to 2015 (470mm) with 80% of the respondents reported a decrease in rainfall amount leading to increase in severity and frequency of droughts (90%). The results show a significant positive correlation between rainfall amount and quantity of flowers (r=0.423; p<0.00), rainfall amount and honey yield (r=0.369; p<0.00) and duration of rainfall and honey yield (r=.460; p<0.00). With decreasing rainfall, the prevalence of pest has increased in the past 5 years especially honey badger (70%), ants (66%) which were ranked 1st and 2nd,, respectively. There were new cases of snakes becoming bee pests in the study area. . In conclusion, there was evidence to suggest that climate variability has negative effects on honey production hence affecting the livelihood of the pastoral community who rely on natural resources for their survival. The study recommended for disseminate of meteorological data to the farmers to enhance preparedness.

Background Information
Climate change and variability is a global issue of concern and its impacts vary spatially, geographically and temporally. Some areas experience an increase in rainfall whereas others document a decrease (IPCC, 2014; Smith et al., 2014). The global terrestrial temperature has increased by 0.8°C in the past century and 0.6°C in the past three decades because of anthropogenic activities (Hansen et al., 2006). Climate change is encroaching slow but steady with an increase of temperatures of 0.5°C per decade (Hulme et al., 2001). This change has had impacts on people’s livelihoods thereby affecting development, economic stability, biodiversity and ecosystems (Thornton et al., 2011)

The impact of climate change and variability is manifested both in developing and developed countries (Simms, 2005). Africa as a continent with limited natural resources is susceptible to impacts of climate variability and change leading to poverty escalation, increase in food price, high inequality, food insecurity, increase in energy price, an impediment to development and high incidences of disasters (Boko et al., 2007; IPCC, 2007). In East Africa, climate variability and change effects are evidenced by increased sea level (IPCC, 2001), rise in water in lakes and change in seasonal migration of wildlife (Thirgood et al., 2004), rainfall uncertainty (Simms, 2005) and other associated effects.

Apiculture is an important element of agriculture as it plays a major role in rural self- employment, economic development and source of food (human nutrition). The key product of beekeeping is honey and wax and is a source of income to many farmers. Honey is used for several purposes such as food, medicine, cultural ceremonies and for religious purposes (Yirga and Teferi, 2010). Seventy three percent of the world crop pollinators are bees. These have an economic significance of €156 billion per year (Gallai et al., 2009). Honey production has grown globally. However, there has been a reduction in the production after the European Union banned the Chinese honey (Dong and Jensen, 2004), where they depend on organic honey from Kenya (Baylis et al., 2010).

In Kenya, beekeeping has been practiced for many years with only about a quarter of honey produced in arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya (Thomas, 2006). In Baringo County, beekeeping is among the top important income generating activities. It is a source of livelihood for many households. Honey production is the third source of income for the County after cash crop farming and livestock keeping (GoK, 2014). The Kenya potential for honey production is over 100,000 metric tons. Baringo county has 176,000 hives and 576 tons of honey is harvested every year that accounts to 1.44 million KSh per month and 5 billion shillings per year (Ngigi, 2013). Approximately, seventy-six percent of the beekeepers sell their honey to middlemen (Gichora, 2003). The honey harvest is at peak between September and December. The farmers sell crude honey at a high price especially during dry season. The products have a long shelf life with high nutritional and medicinal value. This has enhanced poverty reduction, gender equality and extent habitat conservation (Raina et al., 2011).

The County Government of Baringo currently has embarked on how to increase honey production. The decline in honey production has led to indigenous communities of Baringo to engage in charcoal burning and other socio-economic activities (GoK, 2014). This escalates environmental degradation with poor forage production persist in dry conditions and thus a decline in water availability, which are some of the perceived problems in the area (GoK, 2014). According to the Baringo County development plan (2014-2015), the major problems facing Baringo County include environmental degradation due to deforestation, desertification, pollution and climate change. Climate change and variability have led to increased intensity and rate of recurrence of extreme weather conditions, floods, landslides and drought in the area (GoK, 2014).

There has been a decline in natural pollinators because of habitat loss and fragmentation, intensive use of chemicals in agriculture, invasive species, climate change and variability (Potts et al., 2010; GoK, 2014). These impacts of climate variability are experienced highly in medium and low potential zones than in high agricultural areas (Thornton et al., 2011; IPCC, 2014). In low and medium potential areas, most people depend on environmental resources for their livelihood, which include; forage production and construction materials, among others. Therefore, environmental changes has affected people's livelihoods. According to UNEP (2006), African countries had the directive to assess the impacts of climate variability on livelihoods that would help to provide response strategy toward climate variability. This formed the basis of this study that focused on assessment of impacts of climate variability on honey production in Ratat and Marigat areas within Baringo County.

Statement of the Problem
Honey production a natural resource that complement livestock production activities in ASALs. Current trends in climate warming coupled with the increase in human populations are placing new stresses on the production ability of the fragile ecosystem to sustain the indigenous populations of Baringo. There is need to establish the link between land management in the context of honey production and climate variability. Since climate variability has led to an interruption of the ecosystem services, therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between climate variability and honey production in Marigat and Ratat, Baringo County, Kenya.

Broad Objective
The overall aim of the study was to analyze the variation in climate (rainfall and temperature) and assess its implication on honey production in Ratat and Marigat.

Specific Objectives
(i) To determine rainfall variability patterns for the period 2012 to 2016.

(ii) To assess the relationship between rainfall variability and forage phenology.

(iii) To assess the effects of climate variability on honey yield for the period 2012 to 2016.

(iv) To assess the effects of climate variability on bee pest infestation.

Research Questions
(i) How has rainfall varied for the period 2012 to 2016?

(ii) What is the relationship between rainfall variability and forage phenology?

(iii) What are the effects of climate variability on honey yield for the period 2012-2016?

(iv) How has climate variability influenced bee pest infestation?

Justification of the Study
Globally, dry area covers about 41% of the entire land. Since climate variability is both a threat and an opportunity, these dry areas are more vulnerable to climatic threat than opportunities. Climate prediction shows that some parts of the world will become hotter and others drier. This will alter societal performance, poverty escalation, hunger, and environmental degradation.

Apiculture is a source of livelihood for the Baringo community and depends on favourable weather condition. Although people have diversified their livelihood in order to cope with unfavourable weather condition, it has been observed that the weather related impacts are manifested in all sectors. The shortage of water, high temperature, and increase net radiation affects plant phenology and pest infestation that affects honey production. Kenya agricultural sector is vulnerable to impacts of climate variability, and the agricultural strategy is inadequate to provide adequate measures to deal with climate variability. The findings of the study provided useful information that will help in the management of ASALs resources and improving the livelihoods of the people through increased honey production. This study enlighten issues being faced by the honey dependent local people because of climate variability. The information is important for adaptive and poverty alleviation strategies among households in Kenyan rangelands and to meet the Sustainable Development Goals 1 (End poverty), 2 (zero hunger) and 13 (climate action) and the Kenyan vision 2030.

Scope and Limitations
The study focused on impacts of climate variability on honey production in Ratat and Marigat. It focused on establishing the relationship between climate variability and effects on honey production; forage availability for bees, water availability, pest and disease infestation, migration and movement of bees. The study focused on two items: first, assessment of the climate variability based on climatic variable (parameters) i.e. temperature and rainfall. Secondly, to assess the effects of climate variability on forage availability and pest infestation. Rainfall data for the period of 2012 to 2016 was analysed to determine the trend and variation. The baseline rainfall in the study area is 600mm per year.

The limitation of the study was inability to have access to the time series information from the Perkera irrigation scheme and County government. This is because the institutions though were provided with the modern instrument for measuring rainfall and temperature and they were still adopting no how to use them. There was also lack of time series recorded data on honey production among the farmers. It was difficult to deduce the trend in honey production since majority of the farmers did not keep records. Furthermore, the Saving and Credit Cooparative (SACCO) and groups did not have seasonal concise data on honey yield since the buy honey in bulk. Some farmers buy honey from the nearby neighbours and reserve it until the price is high so that they can sell to fetch a high profit. This was mitigated by relying on farmers’ perception on honey yield. There was a challenge in answering question among the respondents because of language. This was mitigated by use of the local enumerator to translate some of the question to local language.

Assumptions of the study
The assumption of the study is that climate variability has led to reduction in honey production affecting the socio-economic status of the people. In addition, it was assumed that the data collected was normally distributed and the sample was representative.

1.7 Operational definitions of terms and concepts Apiculture - The science and art of bee farming.

Absconding- this is the situation where bees totally leave the beehive because of unfavorable condition.

Climate change: variation and change of weather condition for an extended period of over 35 years of a given area.

Climate variability: The temporal and spatial variation in weather condition beyond the normal weather events of given area.

Food Security- It refers to a household's or country's ability to provide future physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that fulfills the dietary needs and food preferences for living an active and healthy lifestyle.

Bee migration- The seasonal movements of whole honeybee colonies from one area to another. Honey yield- Quantity of honey in a single hive

Honey production- Quantity of honey in multiple hives

Swarming- The movement of the bee colony to a new site with a new queen, leaving behind a portion of the colony.

Phenology- The timing, duration and abundance of recurrent biological phenomena, including reproductive events such as flowering, fruiting, seed dispersal and germination.

Pest infestation: Invasion of pest or parasites

Forage type: The type of forage that is bees prefer to collect nectar, propolis and other raw materials

Forage distribution: This spatial and temporal distribution/allocation of forage.

Forage: Raw materials used by bees to make honey

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 83 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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