Producing Quality Honey From Bark Hives

Profitable Technology

Quality Control

Smoky Flavour

Village Honey Processing

Control of Buckets

Good Information Flow

Field Workers

Empowerment of Producers

Market Development

People Centred

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Buying Honey

North Western Bee Products (NWBP) is a producer-owned company buying honey and beeswax from about 10,000 traditional bark hive beekeepers in Zambia. The Zambian Government started this project in 1979 supported by funding from the German Technical Development Agency (GTZ). It can be considered a success story in that it continues to deliver an increasing level of services to the producers and continues to meet the objectives of the original funding agency thirty years after they pulled out. A main objective was simply to increase the income of the rural population.

NWBP exports most of its honey to Tropical Forest Products in the UK, the honey is sold in jars in supermarkets and other shops throughout the UK and the EU. We also supply cosmetic manufacturers in the UK, EU and USA. NWBP supplies more than half of the African honey exported to the EU at prices 50% above the average price paid for other imported honey.

To establish this successful export trade, and meet the exacting quality standards of the various customers, it was necessary to make sure that all honey produced by the beekeepers was of the right standard. Most honey produced by other bark hive beekeepers would not be acceptable to our markets, this article explains how we have trained the beekeepers and set up quality control systems to ensure that we only buy honey of the correct quality.


Tropical Forest, PO Box 92, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 1AA, UK
A company registered in England and Wales. Registered number 02550192