In April 2016, the bee farming project began at African Blessings. We have been blessed with many wild bees, and realised that it is our responsibility to nurture and take care of them, as they are an important part of our eco-system. Many empty beehives were placed in elevated places, such as on top of shipping containers, for wild bees to inhabit.
Our beekeepers place foundation bees wax strips inside of the hives which scout bees seek out, because they are attracted to the scent. The scout bees find the hives and then bring the rest of the colony back to move in. Once the colony of bees has established in the hive, they are moved out into the forest where African Blessings has started the first apiary. As part of our bee initiative we strive to provide a stress-free environment wherein these African bees can flourish and pollinate the farm.
The 300 hectare forest that the bees reside in was planted in 1993 by Alec Howard, specifically for bee farming. The wide variety of Blue Gum trees have been planted to ensure that there is pollen and nectar available for almost all year round. Blue Gum trees are well known for producing eucalyptus oil, which is present in the pollen and nectar of the tree, as well. This addition to our honey makes it full of health benefits, as it is: germicidal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory and acts as a decongestant.
African Blessings proudly produces "raw" honey! Why raw honey? "Bee-cause" we don't want to lose any of that honey-packed goodness! By keeping heat and filtering processes to a minimum, we ensure our honey retains all of its natural health and healing benefits. So, if you get a pot of our "bee-licious" honey, you may see some tiny flecks of wax and/or other organic specks floating around. No need to "bee" concerned – this is completely normal, natural and harmless – "bee" happy, knowing your honey is full of goodness.
FAQ’s About Our Honey:
Do the batches of honey vary?
Yes, each batch of our Apiary’s honey is carefully made by our hard-working bees. Because of our minimal filtering process, and depending on the season, climate and availability of pollen and nectar, our honey will vary.
My honey has crystallised, is this normal? How do I return it to its viscous state?
Yes, this is completely normal. Raw honey crystallises because the sugar content is higher than the water content; these sugar particles then separate from the water and turn into tiny, hard crystals. This is an easy fix! Simply place your jar of raw honey into a container of warm water until the crystals dissolve.
Why should I purchase African Blessings raw, organic honey?
Raw, organic honey has not been filtered extensively and thus retains all the nutritional value that honey should have. The beekeeping and harvesting practices are focused on the well-being of the bees and are minimally intrusive to the bee colonies and help protect the species.
Why does African Blessings make use of a Blue Gum forest?
The different varieties of Blue Gum trees in our forest all flower at various times of the year. As a result, they provide a constant and reliable source of nectar and pollen, which means our bees are well provided for all year round. In addition, Blue Gum trees are a source of eucalyptus oil, which is present in the pollen and nectar of the trees. Eucalyptus oil is thus present in our raw honey and provides many health benefits, such as: acting as a germicide, antiseptic, and decongestant, as well as being anti-inflammatory. So, not only can you enjoy the internal benefits of our honey by consuming it, you can also enjoy these benefits by treating wounds, burns and sores or to simply moisturise dry skin.
What is in my raw honey?
Raw honey is unfiltered, and undergoes minimal heat to retain all its goodness. Our honey therefore contains any combination of the following; pollen, propolis, bees wax, bee bits and other organic flecks.