By Namugerwa Martha
Did you know that the beekeeping and honey business in Africa has huge potentials?
Bee farming is one of the many types of farming which is not much involved with many people in Uganda and when involved beekeepers don’t exploit their bees fully, but it’s about to change.
Apart from getting honey from bees, beekeepers will start renting out their bees for crops pollination.
Dickson Othieno a Kenyan expert in bee farming said that renting bees for the pollination of crops is one of the importance of keeping bees like most beekeepers do In Kenya.
“Many Kenyan beekeepers have rented their bee hives to farmers so that they can pollinate their crops and have yielded a lot of money from farmers.” Othieno said.
Othieno added that bees have a lot of importance in pollinating crops which can make beekeepers reap a lot of money from their bees.
How to make money from beekeeping in Africa – Products and Market opportunities
The value of global trade in honey and other bee products is over $600 million every year. Most people seem to think honey is the only valuable product bees make.
Well, you’ll be amazed to know that the honey bee produces up to six different high-demand products used in a range of industries from food processing to medicine. We shall take a quick look at these products and their lucrative potentials in the African market.
Honey is the sweet tasting juice (food) produced by honey bees, popular for its taste and flavor. Due to its natural sweetness and chemical properties, it is preferred over processed sugars and other sweeteners used in baking, beverages and foods.
In medicine, honey is used as a sweetening agent for children’s drugs and the treatment of sore throat, cough, hay fever and burns.
It is also used to produce cleansers, lotions and creams in the cosmetic industry and used as a nutritional supplement for children, athletes and people suffering from diabetes. (photo credit: showupfitness.com)
Other applications of honey are in animal production (where it is an ingredient in animal feed, and used to increase milk production in dairy cows).
Honey is also used in chemical industries where it is used to produce mice and rat repellent compounds.
Beeswax is a wax material produced from the honeybee’s body. Most people who keep bees (especially in Africa) are unaware of the economic benefits of beeswax and often throw it away after harvesting honey from bee hives.
A lot of craftspeople and manufacturers still spend a lot of money importing beeswax which can be produced locally.
beekeeping and honey 3Surprisingly, beeswax has a much wider use than honey. It is used in food processing industries as an additive and a common ingredient in chewing gum.
It has much wider use in the skin care and cosmetic industry where it has been found better than petroleum jelly in making products like lip balm, lip gloss, hand creams, moisturizers, eye shadow, blush and eye liners.
Beeswax is also commonly used to make shoe and furniture polish, and has been used for centuries to make candles.
Above all, beeswax never goes bad and can be heated and reused over and over again. (photo credit: buy-beeswax.com)
Beeswax has over 100 industrial uses and is widely known to have a ready market both at home and abroad. Currently, suppliers in Europe buy processed or bleached beeswax from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania while other African countries purchase processed wax from Europe!