Our Sweetest Partners

At the Nyungwe beekeepers cooperative, they harvest honey using both modern and traditional hives.

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.

Ukurikiyeyezu Jean-Bosco explains how the beekeepers produce their honey.

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.

Honey is not the only product. The Nyungwe cooperative also makes these beautiful beeswax candles.


One thought on “Our Sweetest Partners

  1. Fascinating and love the photos! Keep it coming…really highlights the impact of job creation in the community caused by the opening of the ice cream store.

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