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 Beekeeping in South Africa
Beekeeping is the care and management of colonies of honeybees. They are kept for their honey and other products or their services as pollinators of fruit and vegetable blossoms. The practice is widespread throughout the world: honeybees are kept on farms and rangelands, and in forests and deserts.
"South Africans do not produce nearly enough honey for the domestic market, and prices are good, allowing fairly substantial profit margins. Profitability is virtually guaranteed as long as you faithfully follow certain methods and make the most of opportunities" (Finance Week, 31 May 2002, page 48).
 Associations and organisations
Beekeeping for Poverty Relief
This is a programme offered by the Plant Protection Research Institute of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC-PPRI) designed to help people help themselves.
The programme started in April 2001, helping poor communities to develop entrepreneurial skills. The goal of the programme is not to merely expand current projects, but also to promote developmental beekeeping in communities in all the provinces in the country.
The Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Social Development and the Department of Agriculture are currently funding the programme.
For more information, click here for the Beekeeping for Poverty Relief website.
Contact details:
Elize Lundall-Magnuson
Beekeeping for Poverty Relief Programme
Private Bag X134
Pretoria, 0001
Tel: (012) 356 9800
Cell: 082 3791093
Mellefica Byeboerdery
Tel: 05292, ask for 2703; or phone 082 853 2956
Honeybadger Byeboerdery
 Web sites
Selected South African links
This website lists associations in South Africa and neighbouring countries and includes articles and links.
Advice on beekeeping, honey farming, bee hives, beeswax, honeybees.
Selected international links
Value-added products from beekeeping
FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin No. 124. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome 1996. This volume is intended to provide information on the utilization of all primary beekeeping products and in this way improve the possibilities for diversification in beekeeping activities. The new perspective for additional income generating activities for beekeepers and non-beekeepers alike may, under the right circumstances, also increase beekeeping viability in an otherwise often marginal business environment.
"How-to" survival library
Using and storing honey.
Beekeeping Training
Makana Meadery can provide basic beekeeping training services as well as an advanced beekeeping service. All training courses are run at the Makana Meadery premises in the Old Powerstation property in Grahamstown. At any one time aspirant beekeepers will have access to between 80 and 100 beehives in the area for training purposes.
 Publications and articles
This Technical Brief looks at some of the basic considerations of beekeeping on a small scale, with diagrams illustrating the techniques involved.
D Botha. ISSN: 0014-8482. Looks at the practice of apiculture in South Africa and the cultivation of colonies of honeybees for honey and beeswax production.
Value-added products from beekeeping
R Krell. FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin No. 124, Rome 1996. ISBN: 92-5-103819-8. Contains information on the manufacturing, processing and marketing of value-added bee products. It is directed at beekeepers as well as non-beekeepers, small entrepreneurs, extension officers and those involved in small business development.
South African Bee Journal
P O Box 14786, Hatfield, Pretoria 0028. e-mail:
This publication can also be viewed on the website:
To bee or not to bee
Finance Week, 31 may 2002, page 48. Discussion on honey production in South Africa and its profitability.
Regulations relating to the grading, packing and marketing of honey and mixtures of bee products intended for sale in the Republic of South Africa
South African Bee Journal, Volume 73, Issue 1, March 2001.
Restraint of trade is a double-edged sword
by D Rodkin in Finance Week, 11 December 1998.
There's money in honey
, by C Nel in Farmers' Weekly, Issue 88028, 10 July 1998.
Hive management and honey production: practical beekeeping
R Culbert. South African Bee Journal, Volume 72, Issue 3, September 2000.
So you want to keep bees?
Farmers Weekly, 24 May 2002.
Cape clones are threatening R20 bn honey industry
Business Day, 25 July 2002, page 2.