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Be a beekeeper for a day at Honeybee Heroes
Adopt a hive, learn about bees, take a beekeeping course, buy honey
Honeybees are the unsung heroes of our planet, and Honeybee Heroes is here to champion these busy pollinators that are indispensable to food production worldwide. Join the fight, says this Stanford sanctuary and education, by adopting a hive, buying its honey, or taking a tour and learning about the Cape honeybee.
Through Honeybee Heroes you can do your bit for the bees and our environment. Image: Honeybee Heroes
MEET THE UNSUNG HEROES
Honeybees pollinate most of the world’s fruits, vegetables, nuts and other crops. More than 50 crops in South Africa and over 90% of flowering plants worldwide rely on them and other pollinators to facilitate in plants’ production of seeds.
The Cape Honeybee is one of only two honeybee subspecies found in South Africa and occurs naturally within the Fynbos eco-region. Image: Honeybee Heroes
The Western Cape is home to a unique honeybee subspecies, the Capensis, which is found only here. It's important to make sure the species is kept healthy to support biodiversity. Honeybee Heroes's course teaches you how you can support the bees' environment, including creating hives for it.
Capensis bees are strong, feisty little creatures with incredible evolutionary behaviour. Image: Honeybee Heroes
BECOME A BEEKEEPER
Chris Oosthuizen, from Stellenbosch, established Honeybee Heroes in early 2020. Just one year later, the sanctuary was home to over 300 active hives and six team members. You can join the team on a beekeeping experience to learn the basics about bees and beekeeping.
You’ll start with a meet and greet (coffee and tea will be provided). Afterwards there will be a “Basics of Beekeeping'' introductory workshop. Soon you will be suited up in a beekeeping suit and out on the farm to see some of the bees up close. Ending off the experience with a lovely honey and cheese tasting with Stonehouse Cheese Estate.
Beekeeping workshops are held on Saturdays and need to be booked beforehand. Image: Honeybee Heroes
BE A PART OF THE MISSION
Honeybee Heroes’ aim is to educate South African consumers on eco- and health-minded food choices and advocate for buying locally produced foods rather than cheap imports. Another of its goals is to uplift low-income households in South Africa by training women to keep bees and making ethical beekeeping a viable profession.
Lastly, the Adopt-A-Hive programme is a great initiative through which ordinary, eco-conscious people can get involved in South Africa's species conservation
Expert beekeepers manage the hives using ethical beekeeping practices. Image: Honeybee Heroes
ADOPT A HIVE
You can support this initiative from anywhere in the world. Adopt-A-Hive hives are placed in permanent locations where the bees are given every advantage to survive – close to abundant food sources and protected from predators.
The hives are set near eucalyptus trees, or in fields of fynbos, lavender or canola. Image: Honeybee Heroes
The initiative works like this: A hand-crafted beehive with your name on it will be set up. You’ll then receive a personalised adoption kit, which includes six jars of raw, farm honey, and you’ll get regular updates on your hive, plus the opportunity to visit it.
When visiting, you will suit up in full beekeeping equipment. Image: Honeybee Heroes
GIVE THE GIFT OF A HIVE AND HONEY
First you’ll need to choose a name for your hive before it's set up, whether it’s for yourself, a business or a gift for someone. There are 3 package options, the Honeybee, Veldskoen and Queen Bee.
The Honeybee includes a branded hive, 3kg of raw honey (which makes up 6 jars), a honey dipper, an official adoption certificate, and a beekeeping experience. The Veldskoen has all that, plus a pair of genuine vellies branded with the cute Honeybee Heroes logo. The Queen Bee package is the Honeybee plus an added selection of honey-based food and beauty items.
The packages make for a thoughtful gift for someone special. Image: Honeybee Heroes
WHEN + WHERE TO GO
Honeybee Heroes is open: Saturday, 9am - 2pm (by appointment only)
Cost to adopt a hive: From R2900 (packages) adopt here
Find it: Willowdale Farm | Stanford | Papiesvlei
Contact it on: firstname.lastname@example.org | 076 242 3276 | honeybeeheroes.com | Instagram: @honeybeeheroes
By Sarah Jarvis
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