About two hours from Butare, just beyond the entrance of Nyungwe National Park, where visitors can hike through the forest and track chimpanzees, is the bee-keeping cooperative from whom Inzozi Nziza purchases its honey. The cooperative formed in July 2009 to allow individual beekeepers to consolidate their product and profit. For some of the twenty-two members, including our guide Ukurikiyeyezu Jean-Bosco, beekeeping is a generations’ old family tradition.
As of now, the cooperative has 164 hives. Traditional hives, made of split logs, are used to attract African honeybees from the area and to collect wax to make candles. The more familiar modern hives, pre-installed with wire sheets, allow for a higher quantity of honey production. Last year the cooperative sold 1000 beeswax candles, ranging from 1800 RWF to 5000 RWF depending on size (roughly $3 – $8.50), and 600 kilos of honey, at 3800 RWF per liter ($6.50). We love being able to support another cooperative initiative – and we love their rich, smooth honey, whether drizzled over ice cream or spread on a bagel.