Uki wa Nzuki wa Kithii. The Akamba are a Bantu-speaking group, they live in the semi-arid formerly Eastern Province of Kenya. Stretching east from Nairobi to Tsavo, and north up to Embu. The land called Ukambani constituted of the Makueni, Kitui, and Machakos counties. Uki wa nzuki wa kithiia is a special kind of honey among the Akamba people preferably in Makueni County.
Akamba were originally hunters and gatherers. They became long-distance traders because of their knowledge of the expansive area they inhabited. Their good relations with neighboring communities as well as excellent communication skills. It is only later that they adopted subsistence farming, pastoralism, and beekeeping as a way of life. Due to the availability of the new lands that they came to occupy.
Honey bees source nectar from different acacia trees, sisal and maize plant among others. The Akamba people believe that Acacia mellifera honey is always the best and is their favorite, though rare. Acacia mellifera is tall, occasionally 9 m in height, with very sharp curved thorns. The Akamba community has this proverb that clearly describes the tree: kithiia kyumanasya nthi na miw’a ya kyo’ (the direct English translation is “A.mellifera plant sprouts from the ground with its thorns”) meaning, “bravery starts from a very young age.”
Acacia mellifera honey is almost transparent and viscous but once it crystallizes. It becomes white or pale yellow which originates from the creamy white flowers of the Acacia mellifera. The honey crystallizes slowly due to a high amount of fructose. Honey from Acacia mellifera white flowers is available in the dry seasons around January to March, September to December.
How to preserve Uki Wa Nzuki
Among the Akamba, honey is also a crucial component in the gifts exchanges by families for a wedding. Its also used to preserve meat. Making a local brew locally known as kaluvu (in other areas in Ukambani called kimee). To treat hoof and mouth disease in cattle. The wax gets thrown away and the brood eggs, larvae, and pupa are eaten by men because it’s believed to improve libido.
YOU CAN ALSO READ;Why Marriage Worked In The Past.
Beekeeping knowledge has been passed on from generation to generation, and some family lineages are named after their beekeeping practices. Traditional hives are generally made from mature, hardwood trees. which withstand hot tropical temperatures and rains for twenty years or more. The log is hollowed out and made a good thickness to insulate the hive during the hot dry season. Propolis resin is used as bait to attract a swarm.
A number of factors have contributed to the loss of traditional knowledge and practices of beekeeping.
YOU CAN ALSO READ; Mangoes Remedy For Romance
Christian missionaries deemed the customs of brewing beer from honey and using honey to pay the bride price unacceptable. For this reasons, the Kenyans who converted to Christianity align to this opinion.
Disadvantages of deforestation and how it affects beekeeping.
Deforestation is yet another factor because people are cutting trees in an unsustainable way to burn charcoal. which reduces the number of Acacia mellifera trees that slow growth. Making it rare and thus even more rare to find this kind of honey.
The traditional products, local breeds, and know-how collected by the Ark of Taste belong to the communities that have preserved them over time. wich shares and describes. Thanks to the efforts of the network that Slow Food. which developed around the world, with the objective of preserving them and raising awareness.