Beekeeping

bees photo

Beekeeping (or apiculture, from Latin apis, bee) is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. A beekeeper (or apiarist) keeps bees in order to collect honey and beeswax, to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. A location where bees are kept is called an apiary or “bee yard”. Source: Wikipedia

Beekeeping is probably the only form of agriculture with an overwhelmingly positive impact on the natural environment. It is a valuable conservation tool, allowing people to derive economic benefit from indigenous forests and other floral resources in a non-destructive way, ensuring local participation in conservation efforts. It also makes a very significant contribution to other forms of agriculture by effecting the pollination (link to pollination page) of many economically important plants. (Source: Dept of Agriculture)




Where can I learn?

Basic beekeeping course
Full day training. Live Honey Demo. Make honey.

Basics in beekeeping
This fundamental two day training programme is aimed at any person interested in starting out in beekeeping or has limited experience and knowledge working with bees.  The course is run over a weekend period for two full days and in addition to lecture and practical discussion sessions also includes practical field work managing and working on bees.

Bee course for beginners
We operate from Centurion just off John Vorster off ramp. Every month we host a beekeeping course for beginners near Midrand!

Associations and Organisations

South African Bee Industry Organisation (SABIO)
The SOUTH AFRICAN BEE INDUSTRY ORGANISATION (SABIO) is an organised body representing the Beekeeping Industry in South Africa.

Eastern Highveld Beekeepers Association* – Benoni, East Rand, Gauteng
P.O. Box 9359, Cinda Park, 1463
Chairman: Glen Terry, Cell 083 469 4453

Free State Beekeepers Association
Co-Ordinator: Jasco Dinkelman

Kwa-Zulu Natal Bee Farmers Association
P.O. Box 524, Pietermaritzburg, 3200
Chairman Craig Campbell, Cell: 079 436 0686

Mpumalanga Bee Group
P.O. Box 2726, White River, 124
Co-Ordinator: Fred Bence, Cell 082 608 2008

Northern Cape Bee Group
Co-Ordinator: Hennie du Toit, Tel: 053 441 2341

Northerns Beekeepers Association – Pretoria, Gauteng
P.O. Box 14840, Hatfield, Pretoria, 0028
Co-Ordinator:  Koos van der Merwe, Cell 083 259 4466

Southerns Beekeeping Association* – Johannesburg, Gauteng
P.O. Box 68404, Bryanston, 2021
Chairman: Eddy van Zyl, Cell 082 776 8801
Website: www.beekeepers.co.za

Southern Cape Bee Industry Association
P.O. Box 11254, Heiderand, 6511
Chairman: Hannes van Zyl  Cell: 084 582 4380

Western Cape Bee Industry Association*
P. O. Box 1200, Bellville, 7535
Chairperson: Lynette Barnes, Tel 021 865 2050
Website: www.wkbv.co.za

Websites

bees photo

Micro-franchise model – African Honey Bee (AHB)
AHB’s micro-franchising model sidesteps many of the pitfalls of existing development interventions while providing beekeeper partners with:

  • A proven micro-beekeeping business model (i.e. reducing risks to people who are already in poverty)
  • Maximizing economies of scale via replication;
  • Training, mentoring and support;
  • Low cost infrastructure, equipment, consumables and logistics; and
  • Off-take agreements/partnerships with large retailers.

Cape Town Urban Beekeeping has potential to improve the lives, nutrition and income to many people.
The aim of the Urban Bee Keeping Project is to extend benefits to historically disadvantaged people throughout greater Cape Town. This is done through skills transfer and AGRI SETA training in the practice of bee keeping as well as investment in equipment and business skills. Training consists of a one-year interactive course followed by at least three years of mentorship.

Beekeeping:
This website lists associations in South Africa and neighbouring countries and includes articles and links

How to get started in beekeeping – Beequipment SA
Keeping bees can be for recreational purposes if you want an outdoor hobby and love the environment or it can be for commercial purposes as an income generator through either honey production or pollination services or both.

Financing

Funding for Beekeeping for Poverty Relief
The Beekeeping for Poverty Relief™ Programme has been designed to help people to help themselves. The programme is a joint venture between the ARC-Plant Protection Research Institute and the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Social Development and the Department of Agriculture.

The Beekeeping for Poverty Relief™ Programme (BPRP) started in April 2001, and has achieved considerable success.

Contact details:
Elize Lundall-Magnuson
Beekeeping for Poverty Relief Programme
Private Bag X134
Pretoria, 0001
Tel: (012) 356 9800
Cell: 082 3791093
E-mail: rietem@plant2.agric.za

Suppliers

Mellefica Byeboerdery
Tel: 05292, ask for 2703; or phone 082 853 2956

Honeybadger Byeboerdery
Pretoria.

Beeware
Bees, Honey & Beekeeping Equipment for hobbyists & professionals

Beequipment SA
Diverse products available related to beekeeping.

Photo by Thien Gretchen

Photo by orangeaurochs