Most African honey varietals are organic by default. African beekeeping is often practiced in remote areas where the bees are surrounded by native vegetation, free of GMOs, pesticides, pollution, cities, and busy roads—some of the basic requirements for organic beekeeping. The hives are made exclusively from natural occurring materials, such as wood, and no chemical glues/residues and plastics are used in and around the hives. Artificial feeding is not only unnecessary but represents an additional cost that no African beekeeper can afford to entertain. In a nutshell, our African honey varietals are as natural as they get.
There is a distinction between a honey that is organic and one that is certified organic.
Organic certification is a certification process for producers of organic food and agricultural products. It requires being certified by an accredited certification body. In beekeeping, organic certification is a voluntary process to attest that a beekeeper/group of beekeepers is adhering to the established standards for organic certified honey.
Most African honey varietals are organic, and yet are not certified organic. The organic certification process can be a complex and a costly endeavor for the average African beekeeper. It is a multistep process starting with an application, followed by an on-site inspection to ensure that apiaries are properly situated and managed, and harvest well-handled. The process ends with a review, after which a decision is made.
Bees with Stories’ Madvee is from Mauritius. When she learnt that the country imports 60% of the honey consumed on the island, she decided to establish her own apiary there. The company is currently setting up a site with 100 beehives to ensure a steady supply of honey for the local market. It also has its own processing unit to filter, bottle and package the harvested honey. The beekeepers tending to the hives and bees have been trained upon joining the project. A first in Mauritius, the apiary is run entirely by women and is set up in a biodiversity conservation site, following an agreement with La Vallee de Ferney. The collaboration is intended to promote the biodiversity conservation of the 15,000 endemic plants and enhance the productivity of the bio-farms on the site.