Hives are built by hand, transported to farms and then swarmed. Hives can take up to eight weeks to swarm depending on how quickly the beekeeper can get the bees into the hive. As soon as your hive has been swarmed, you will be notified. No platform fees from Fedgroup apply until this has occurred. When the hives has been swarmed, the bees can start to produce honey. An immature hive produces far less honey and other products than a mature hive.
Hives can also earn money from pollination fees.
Income will be paid to Impact Farmers twice per year, with the timing dependent on variables such as the weather and maturity of the hive.
What makes a successful hive?
- Expertise in managing where your bees forage – hives are moved around to maximise honey production depending on which plant or crop is flowering where. You need to understand where the biggest amount of pollen is for your bees at what time of the year to ensure two crops can be harvested.
- Having the resources to manage the operation: barriers to entry are high. You need to invest in equipment, employees and a bottling facility to maximise your returns.
- You need to be able to bounce back if and when bees die. You need to be able to secure your hives from theft.
- 1 500 hives is a commercial operation size. Your investment is secure.
Who is managing these hives?
- The hives are built and managed by expert beekeepers. The harvested honey is sold wholesale to Hurter's Honey who bottle and supply some of the major supermarkets in South Africa. All the honey produced will be subject to testing and audit to ensure that it is of a good standard.
- Our partner for the first release of hives is Menno's Apiaries based in Port Elizabeth.
- Other partners will be added to the platform as we add more hives.