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Why did you adopt? A family apiary

In our new “Why did you adopt?” blog column, we’re chatting with some of the honeybee heroes who adopted a hive with us, to find out what their adoption means to them. We are incredibly grateful to all of our hive sponsors, who make it possible for us to keep doing what we love — and keep saving more bees — every single day.

It started with just one hive for Nicole le Roux and her daughter. But one by one, the family has added more hives to their micro-apiary as gifts for their loved ones. Now, the Le Roux’s extended family has adopted five Honeybee Heroes hives — and there may be more to come!

Nicole le Roux knows a thing or two about sustainable foods. Having worked for many years at Woolworths corporate, running their organic produce section, supporting ethical food producers was part of the job description. But her conscious consumerism soon became a personal passion—and now, she spends much of her time tending to her garden in her Cape Town home, and doing her best to ensure her family “lives in harmony” with the environment, by only purchasing local, sustainably grown food from reputable sources known for their eco-friendly farming practices.

“I try, in regards to how I operate as a consumer, to support regenerative agriculture,” Nicole says. “I like to know the source of my meat and veggies, and if they’re sprayed with pesticides, and so on.”

So when Nicole watched a documentary about honey laundering, she instantly became interested in the honeybee industry and began educating herself on the honey trade — and soon decided that she wanted a hive of her own, so that she could ensure the source of her honey.

“I started looking if I could get a hive here but it’s just not feasible where we live,” she explains. “I don’t have the right space for it, or the skills to look after it myself. So I started looking at what people were doing in the area and I came across Honeybee Heroes.”

Nicole first adopted a hive for herself and her daughter, but after their first family visit to the farm, they quickly decided to adopt one for her husband as well.

“Karim and Reuben and Chris…the energy and excitement that the Honeybee Heroes team has for what they’re doing is absolutely infectious,” Nicole says, remembering her visit to Willowdale Farm. “There was such a difference in how they were approaching it compared to other initiatives that I’ve encountered. I was really inspired to see the work that they’re doing, their passion for the project and to hear their vision of what they want to accomplish. We realised this project wasn’t just about getting honey to sell, but something much bigger than that: a way to give back to communities, to give people employment, a sense of purpose, new skills to care for themselves, and to educate consumers across the country.”

Nicole, who works as a life coach for young entrepreneurs, firmly believes that the only path towards impactful change is education. “We need to educate people. If we can empower people with knowledge about the environment, it makes a big difference how they function in that environment.”

Now, just one year later, the family has adopted five Honeybee Heroes hives, including hives on behalf of Nicole’s sister, mother, and mother-in-law for their birthdays. Nicole says her family members were all thrilled when they found out about their hives.

“They all really enjoyed getting something so unique as a birthday present rather than, you know, socks or body lotion,” she laughs. “In this day and age, we don’t actually need any more stuff. We need to do something instead, something of use. Adopting hives just felt like a small way we could contribute as a family back into the world.”

We give 3 kilograms of raw honey from our hives to everyone who adopts a hive with us — and Nicole tells us that every time she pulls out her bottle of Honeybee Heroes honey and puts a teaspoon in her tea, it’s something special.

“It just makes it more enjoyable, like it’s got more meaning in it,” Nicole says. “It’s an intangible feeling, when you drink that cup of tea, that you’re a part of this bigger process that’s happening. That you’re a part of something bigger.”

Adopting a beehive is a unique gift for any occasion, whether it’s to celebrate an anniversary, honour a late loved one, to contribute to a sustainable future or to surprise a friend. Whether you’re sponsoring a hive on behalf of a loved one, or adopting one for yourself, your hive will keep a bee colony safe for years to come, making it a gift that keeps on giving. Not to mention the 6 bottles of raw fynbos honey that every sponsor receives as a thanks from our resident bees!

Ready to adopt a hive? Check out our Adopt page above for more information!

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