Landmark launch of black beekeepers
30 July 2008
The Eastern Cape will launch the Honey Producers Organisation through the Department of Agriculture and it will mark the first black-led honey producers organisation in South Africa. The industry has been known to be a business of mainly white people but now black honey producers in the province have organised themselves and made strides in entering the market.
There are already 50 beekeeping farmers in the Eastern Cape and the launch will take place on the site of a project where there are more than 200 beehives. In some projects people are not only selling but they also use the wax to make candles, soaps, floor polishes and lip balms. In one project in Lusikisiki, women are advanced as they produce medicines out of pollen (yellow thing carried by bees) that can help in stomach aches, propolis (black dough that covers holes in the beehives) which helps in curing open wounds and the “royal jelly” which boosts the immune system.
According to farmers there is a lot of market for the honey in the province and there is a shortage in supply. The provincial black bee-keepers has a potential of producing more than 60 tons of honey and with the help of the department, the production is flourishing. The department is committed to developing the skills of its extension officers so that they can equip more farmers to produce honey on a large scale – so far 20 officials have been trained in a special training on beekeeping.
You are cordially invited to this extraordinary event where farmers will display their “relationship” with bees, from letting them sting them to playing around with them without protection. There’ll be stalls to visit and display of the products while members of the media will intact with farmers to find more information about what they do.
Details of the event are as follows:
Venue: Frankfort Village (not far from Bhisho)
Date: 19 August 2008
For more information contact:
Tel: 040 609 3965
Cell: 073 263 3754
Issued by: Department of Agriculture, Eastern Cape Provincial Government
30 July 2008