On the 2nd of February 2022, we gave you the first part of the conversation we had with Kearabetswe Moepi from Marapyane village, a 21 year old young man who produces honey from his uncle’s farm. This week we expand on that conversation whereby we ask him some questions focusing on his vision for the company and what this means to him and the environment.

Sunflower (left) and aloe (right) produced honeys from Naledi Beekeeping. Image: Supplied

Is your business registered? If yes what is the name? If not why?

Upon completion of my training, I saw the need to register the business of which the same sister who introduced me to beekeeping, assisted with registrations. It was at that moment that we came up with the name Naledi Beekeeping. The company has been registered for a year now.

The name is from native Setswana language which means a star. We chose this name because it means the road ahead for Naledi Beekeeping is shining bright. I am naturally an optimistic person.

Our mantra is “Naledi, quality honey brought to the people

Which products do you produce and what is the difference (if any) between your products and what is already available on the market?

Due to seasonal changes, and the fact that Marapyane and South Africa is a semi-arid region characterised with constant and highly variable climate changes. At Naledi Beekeeping we produce two types of honeys to counter the abovementioned weather changes.

People mostly ask about the colours of my honey produce because they see colour change of which is a good question to ask. The difference is that they are from different beehives that are located on a different locations. We produce mainly from sunflowers and aloes.

The one that crystallises fast are the one that are located next to or in sunflower farms and the other one are located in the forest where there is an abundance of aloe unfortunately, the honey produced from aloes take time to crystalize. Rest assured, in both honeys; quality is not compromised.

What are the short / medium/ long term plans for your Naledi Beekeeping?

Short terms plans: I want to see Naledi Beekeeping having enough equipment to that will help grow the business to better position it to achieve our medium to long term goals. Moreover, we want to ensure we understand compliance with regulations of the country as well as developing a clear road map including market research and company culture.

Medium terms plans: To produce enough honey to supply retail stores being one of the successful beekeepers not only in my province but in the whole county. Furthermore; we want to finalize the development, design and registrations of trademark of our logos and also patent other essentials to enable us not only to comply with the legal frameworks of the country but also to ensure we are competitive.

Sunflower produced honey is by far the most popular and well known. Image: Supplied

Long terms plans: Is to have enough capital and attract investors to allow us expand and acquire more space for bee farming, as well as participating in the mainstream economy whereby we will be exporting and selling to international markets. Another objective is to create employment and training solutions to the communities we serve.

Not only to minimize the unemployment rate but to transfer the skills and create awareness towards bees and why is important to have them as part our lives and the ecosystem at large. As far as the environmental impact assessment is concerned, at Naledi Beekeeping we want to continue practicing international industry practices as accepted by global regulatory bodies such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Are there any beekeepers in your region? If so; would you be open to possibly collaborate with them?

So far I have not met or heard of anyone/company in my line of work. However; should there be I would definitely be grateful for the opportunity to work together with them as this will assist us to learn new things and also to network, to support each other as well as creating a platform whereby opportunities are identified promptly and solutions to obstacles are defined. This will expand Naledi reach beyond its horizons thus creating a valuable value chain.

How can people buy my products or contact me?

Currently I do not have a place where my products are sold off the shelves. I am selling directly from home by means of either walk-ins or deliver orders to their doorsteps that are made through a telephone communication. The number to call is 067 038 0771 and deliveries are free of charge to around my area. For large orders couriers, can be arranged especially to locations/areas far from home.

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