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...

Madvee is from Mauritius. When she learnt that the country imports 60% of the honey consumed on the island, she decided to establish her company there and start her own apiary. We are currently setting up a site with 100 beehives to ensure a steady supply of honey for the local market. We also have our own processing unit to filter, bottle and package the harvested honey. The beekeepers tending to our hives and bees have been trained upon joining the project. They were all recruited from the list of beneficiaries receiving social assistance from the government. A first in Africa, the apiary in Mauritius is set up on a solar farm site, following an agreement with Akuo Energy. The collaboration is intended to make optimal use of solar farmland and promote complementary agricultural activities.
We are working with --- 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.
In Madagascar, we collaborate with a cooperative of 34 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 Letchi honey to expand on the ‘Bees with Stories’ honey varietals.
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, we are working with this network of beekeepers. They practice both traditional and top bar hive beekeeping.