Beekeeping in Tanzania plays a significant role in socio-economic development by generating cash income and contributing to food security. It also indirectly contributes to the conservation of forests and agricultural productivity.Tanzania is an important producer of quality honey and beeswax due to its favourable climate and vegetation that support beekeeping, capable of hosting up to 9.2 million productive bee colonies in its forest woodlands and farm areas. Additionally, Tanzania benefits from the presence of both sting and stingless honeybees and the existence of indigenous knowledge on beekeeping practices.”
Honey is one of the major foods for some communities, such as hunters in Tanzania. It Is also a raw material for industrial products, ranging from pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, textiles, beverages, and paper to confectioneries, both small and large.
It is estimated that the sector generates revenue of about USD 1.7 million each year from the sale of honey and beeswax and employs about 2 million people in the country, with 1.2 million being beekeepers. Tanzania produces approximately 34,000 metric tons of honey annually. The government of Tanzania has put in place a policy framework and implementation instruments to support the development of the beekeeping industry.
The National Beekeeping Policy of 1998, the National Beekeeping Act of 2002, the Forest Act Cap 323 of 2002, and the Guidelines for Quality Control of Bee Products of 2007 provide platforms for promoting profitable and quality bee products.”
TYPES OF HONEY BASED ON THE VEGATATION
There are different types of honey produced in Tanzania that fetch high prices in local and international markets due to their high quality. These include Miombo honey from Miombo woodland, Acacia honey from Acacia woodland, Creamy-white honey from Leucas stricta sp, montane honey from Montane forest, Mangrove honey from Mangrove forest, and Creamy honey from Itigi thickets.”
QUALITY ASSURANCE OF BEE PRODUCTS
Tanzania has established modalities for quality assurance among different stakeholders engaged in the development and utilization of bee products in the country. The existing quality assurance system for honey has been in place for several years and has, in other productive areas, led to the qualification of Tanzania honey for international markets. Tanzania Forest
Services Agency (TFS) implements a chemical residues monitoring plan as a requirement to access international markets, including the European market.”
Tanzania has approximately 48.1 million hectares of forest woodland scattered throughout the country, making it an ideal location for developing beekeeping industries. The Tanzania Forest Service has established three bee farms of Manyoni-Kondoa at Central Zone, Mwambao bee farm in Handeni District (Northern Zone) and Kipembawe bee farm in Chunya District (Southern Highland Zone). Also, a total of 256 bee apiaries located in forest plantations, village lands, bee reserves, and forest reserves are established. Some of the protected National bee reserves include the proposed Kilinga Forest, Aghondi. anti Memembo bee reserves in Manyoni Districts; Maganze Mzaree, Lebba Jumbe, Male “tero, and Songolo at Nyandakame Beekeeping Center in Chemba District. Others s: st2 Kipembawe bee reserve in Chunya, District; Kang’ata, Kwenyenyunga Magiri Bee rescue in Handeni District; Kamba and Sambu Bee reserve in Kilindi District; and Miha Bee reserve in Mvomero District. There is also high potential for beekeeping in agricultural lands, where substantial bee products can be harvested from crops such as sunflower, green beans, coffee, coconuts, and sisal. Additionally, the mangrove forests on the mainland Tanzania, which cover about 115,500 hectares, also provide high potential for beekeeping.”
The demand for honey and beeswax in the world market is very high, and the demand for Tanzanian honey and beeswax exceeds supply. The main buyers of Tanzanian honey are European Union member countries, especially the Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and France. Other potential markets are the News land, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. The main importers of Tanzanian beeswax are Japan, the USA, and European Union member countries, Currently, Tanzania exports 793.564 tons of beeswax and 1563 tons of honey per year, and these exports increase dramatically annually.