Honey Festival to highlight challenges for bee keepers

2018-07-06 15:45
KZN Bee Farmers Association chairperson Kim McCall (left) and her assistant bee keeper, Sekethwayo, pull slides from one of the beehives on McCall’s farm in Pietermaritzburg to look at how much honey has been produced.

KZN Bee Farmers Association chairperson Kim McCall (left) and her assistant bee keeper, Sekethwayo, pull slides from one of the beehives on McCall’s farm in Pietermaritzburg to look at how much honey has been produced. (Nhlanhla Nkosi)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Vandalism, theft, adulteration of products and lack of nectar have become massive problems for KwaZulu-Natal’s bee keepers.

This comes ahead of Pietermaritzburg’s first Honey Festival this Sunday at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds where bee keepers will be engaging the public on just how important bees are to the environment, among other things.

The KwaZulu-Natal Bee Farmers Association chairperson, Kim McCall, told The Witness this week that vandalism of hives and theft of honey “are a huge problem in KwaZulu-Natal”.

McCall said she’d had the equivalent of 1 200 bottles of honey stolen from one of the hives on her farm last week.

“They take the frames out from the hive, cut out the honey combs and then slip the slides back into the hive as if the hive has not been disturbed. It is a devastating blow. In the Free State 300 to 400 [whole] hives have been stolen.”

She said the theft was made easier by the fact that hives are often located in isolated places as they must not be anywhere near people or animals.

“In the Western Cape, they have about 50 hives on the road reserves but you cannot do this in Mpumalanga, the Free State or KZN because they would be stolen.”

Another issue plaguing the bee-keeping community at the moment is the “adulteration of honey”.

A member of the association, who asked not to be named, said there had been several complaints from honey buyers claiming that certain brands they had purchased tasted more like sugar, syrup or candyfloss than honey. These bottles are allegedly being marketed as “pure honey”, but an investigation is under way as it is believed that these bottles may in reality contain up to 70% syrup and only 30% honey.

The source said these bottles usually sold for less in stores, making it difficult for hard working, dedicated and honest bee keepers to turn a profit. However, McCall said that this Sunday’s festival will be all about educating the public on every aspect of bee keeping as well as showcasing the different varieties of honey and products made from beeswax and honey.

She said the public will also be educated on the importance of bee keeping, saying that many fruit farms rely heavily on commercial bees to pollinate their produce. “We will be answering everything we can about bee keeping — from what plants to grow in your garden to attract bees, bee removals, and how important it is to support local bee keepers.”

McCall said only a third of honey consumed in the country is produced in SA.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  honey festival

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Share your 67 minutes with animals in need this Mandela Day

With an abundance of activities to get involved in, why not lend a hand towards animals in need this Mandela day? Here are some ideas of how you can spend your 67 minutes...

 

Paws

Kevin Anderson’s dog is winning at Instagram!
Kim Kardashian-West buys fake testicles to boost her dog’s self-esteem
10 tips on exercising your dog
Our top picks for doggo post of the week
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.