Why ‘Bees with Stories’?

The few African honey varietals that currently make it to premium markets do so through bulk sales. As is the case for most raw materials sourced from developing countries, bulk prices are low. In addition, the beekeeping communities behind the products remain anonymous. To make beekeeping more profitable to African beekeepers, the strategy required calls for investing in turning the bulk honey into a branded packaged honey that meets export standards. ‘Bees with Stories’ was born out of this initiative. It is a social brand built around the idea that beekeepers deserve the spotlight for their diligent work in managing hives, as well as a bigger percentage of the profit made in selling bee products. With that in mind, the label on each product includes an insert to highlight the beekeeping community that helped in its production, and who will benefit from its sale directly.

Want to know more about our beekeepers? Click on the pictures below!

Stories from...

Ethiopia 2
We are working with 245 beekeepers in the Sheka Forest Biosphere Reserve (established in 2012) in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia. The beekeepers are all farmers who practiced beekeeping as an additional activity to food cropping; they have all received training on how to build transitional hives to increase their honey production. Given their remote location and the multiple barriers that they face along the value chain, we work with them to turn their honey from bulk to retail, and sell to a wider external market.
After its debut in the UK market with honey varietals from Ethiopia, Madagascar and Tanzania, BwS is launching at its first outlet in Africa, or as we lucky ones get to call it...home. And what an entrance, debuting at the Nairobi Street Kitchen no less!  As we do elsewhere, we insist on creating social and environmental impact in the communities from which we source our honey. In Kenya, we work with farmers in Makueni County to help them generate additional income through honey while promoting the protection of acacia trees used in traditional beekeeping. 
In Madagascar, we collaborate with a cooperative of 61 beekeepers, including 48 newly trained young beekeepers. They operate in the Manakara region and harvest the most exquisite honey varietals. We have recently invested in buying additional Langstroth beehives for the beekeepers so that we can have our own stock of Mokarana and Lychee/Litchi honey to expand on the ‘Bees with Stories’ honey varietals.
Madvee is from Mauritius. When she learnt that the country imports 60% of the honey consumed on the island, she decided to establish her own apiary there. The company is currently setting up a site with 100 beehives to ensure a steady supply of honey for the local market. It also has its own processing unit to filter, bottle and package the harvested honey. The beekeepers tending to the hives and bees have been trained upon joining the project. A first in Mauritius, the apiary is run entirely by women and is set up in a biodiversity conservation site, following an agreement with La Vallee de Ferney. The collaboration is intended to promote the biodiversity conservation of the 15,000 endemic plants and enhance the productivity of the bio-farms on the site.
We work with 500+ beekeepers in the region of Kigoma, Tanzania. This collaboration stemmed out of a meeting between two wannabe beekeepers at Apimondia Turkey. One thing led to another and, 2 years later, our company buys from his network of beekeepers in Kigoma. The latter practice both traditional and top bar hive beekeeping.