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By Matṧeliso Phulane
Mositi Monyane is a young Mosotho man who puts bread on the table by selling pure organic honey extracted from the bees while also producing propolis, wax and bee spikes.
In a recent interview with theReporter, Monyane explained that his project began way back in 2018, after him and others undergone a training organised by World Vision Kota ADP.
He said there were several projects including broiler chickens breed, but he decided to be unique and chose to implement bees project for honey.
“I had noticed some of the benefits which included low costs in terms of feeding them. Unlike broiler’s feed which is too expensive, bees are able to fly outside and feed themselves from nectar and pollen found in flowers or corn tassel.
“Besides that, I only feed them sugar during winter because there are no flowers to provide nectar or pollen,” Monyane added.
He said the sugar has to be mixed with a little bit of water to make it sticky then place it on the lit or on the tree leaves.
Monyane further said he always ensures that he plants sunflower and maize where they can feed themselves and his production normally increases at that time.
He also indicated that he was given eight boxes of bees by the World Vision when he started his business in 2019. But he added four more boxes making up 12 in 2019, which increased his harvest in 2020 and he managed to increase his capital.
“My business became very successful in 2020 because I was able to harvest 20litres and more 10 litres of honey from the two layers, being top layer and the middle layer which made a profit of M12 000,” he added.
He continued: “Using the machine, I then extract the juice from the honey which still makes a lot of production to sell.”
Monyane highlighted that, even though his harvest occurs once in a year normally in March, there is a good market for his business.
He said this year production was not so good because of lots of rain as he managed to produce 253 bottles of raw honey which has different colours being black, brown and white.
“When there is a lot of rain there is low production because bees spend more time in the beehive without going to fetch for food outside, therefore they eat their own honey.
“I also extract a lot of bee wax which is normally used for candle production, lip balms, salves, wood or furniture polish. I also extract propolis in large quantities which is normally used to fight against bacteria viruses and fungi,” he observed.
However, Monyane said the market for both wax and propolis is poor because they are only bought by a few people who use them.
Monyane expressed that he encountered a lot of challenges such as lack of wooden bee boxes for reserving them. To solve that, he decided to create his man-made beehives using stones and finds it much easier as it creates more space than wooden boxes.
Apart from that, he said when he first began his business he had to deal with his neighbours animals which used to destroy the nest because the project is a bit far from his yard. Again, there is a snake which sometimes kill the bees.
“There is always a snake which enters the hive and kills all the bees, it only eats their heads and leaves the stinger part because it is a sharp part of its body,” he added.
In addition, he said he had to study the life of bees and how they communicate as trained. He indicated that there is the one called “Skaut” which analyses the weather conditions such as rain, so that others could not go outside.
There are also workers who bring along pollen grain and make more production. And the queen which is typically an adult, mated female that lives in a colony or hive of bees. With fully developed reproductive organ, it is normally the biggest of them.
“The queen has to be identified at the early stage so that it could be easy to partner them,” Monyane noted.
The 33-year old apiculturist who resides at Masianokeng in Tṧehlanyane in the district of Leribe is a married man.
Monyane urged the youth to highly start bee production in large quantities “because there is a huge market for them but he regrets that harvest is done only once in a year.
As a result, if there are many producers they could make a huge impact in increasing the honey to supply both local and international markets.
“My dream is to have as many projects as possible so that I could supply raw honey throughout the year,” Monyane said
He is willing to pass his knowledge to other people who are interested to start their own businesses in future.
“My aim is to train people who are interested in this type of the project because I have noticed that there is high rate of unemployment in the country,” he concluded.
For orders Monyane can be contacted on +266 53822967. 500g of raw honey costs M60 but the price is reduced M50 for regular customers.