At Honeybee Heroes, we seek to create accessible, sustainable opportunities for South Africans to protect and engage with the environment. We are grounded in the education and conservation of South Africa’s unique Cape honeybee.
1. To play an active role in reversing the decline of the South African honeybee.
Through our flagship Adopt-a-Hive programme, we’re creating a direct pipeline for eco-minded individuals to get involved in South Africa’s species conservation efforts, by placing and caring for safe, permanent homes for South African honeybees on farms and private nature reserves countrywide on behalf of our sponsors. Our expert beekeepers manage the hives using strictly ethical beekeeping practices, encouraging organic colony growth for more healthy, happy honeybees.
3. To educate South African consumers on eco- and health-minded food choices and advocate for the reevaluation of locally produced foods against cheap imports.
Currently, South Africa imports over 4 000 tons of foreign honey every year. But imported honey tends to be filtered, heated and with many additives like corn and rice sweeteners—removing all of the amazing antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits natural honey offers. And because the cost of this artificial honey is so low, local honey producers can’t compete, forcing them to artificially alter their honey and participate in unethical beekeeping practices to keep their businesses afloat.If we can break this chain by advocating for smarter food choices at the consumer level, with an emphasis on local, eco-friendly producers, we can make sustainability profitable—ensuring a better future for South African honeybees and honeybee farmers.
2. To uplift low-income households in South Africa by up-skilling women beekeepers and making ethical beekeeping a viable profession.
The bigger we grow, the greater opportunity we have to assist local honeybee farmers like ourselves, by providing them with the equipment, training and facilities to ensure they grow sustainably, profitably and with the bees’ best interests at heart.
Through our community-run micro-apiaries programme, we place honeybee apiaries on suitable private land and nature reserves across the country and train women from low-income communities to care for them. In doing so, we’re educating a new generation of women beekeepers—mentored by our expert apiarists in beekeeping best practices—who will be able to independently provide for themselves and their families.
Meet Our Founder
Hailing from Stellenbosch, Chris Oosthuizen spent his early corporate career on the founding team of Stor-Age, where he currently heads the Sales and Marketing division. From hiking the Appalachian Trail to climbing Mount Everest, Chris has always fostered a personal interest in the interplay between human beings and our environment. So when he heard about the plight of the honeybees while sitting by the campfire with a few close friends, he started brainstorming ways to get his fellow South Africans excited about saving these tiny, hardworking creatures.
In early 2020, Chris established Honeybee Heroes, with the goal to help conserve the South African Capensis honeybee while supporting small-scale beekeepers and educating South Africans on environmentally friendly food choices.
Just one year later, Honeybee Heroes is home to over 300 active hives and six full-time team members.