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Why is honey from Africa so expensive.

I want to know the reasons for the higher than usual prices of honey from Africa. So far I have found a whole range of prices from different countries in Africa, ranging from $3.5 to $10 per kg. Is this about quality or rarity. If I look at prices in the world it ranges from $0.90 to $1.9 per kg. Why is African honey double the price? I am doing a research project on this question about prices and would like comments on this to give me an understanding about the higher than normal prices of honey in Africa.


A friend brought back honey from South Africa for me last year, this was his second time trying, they confiscated it in the airport the first time. It was dark, rich and fabulous honey. I would love to have some more of it.

Hi Reid,

I am currently working on opening the market for African honey in the USA, Soon you will be able to enjoy that taste again. Getting FDA approved is a headache at the moment. That is probably why it was confiscated at the airport, was not FDA approved.

The reason honey is more expensive in africa is the demand is higher than the supply
Africans consume a lot of honey

The reason is that, the demand for honey in Africa specifically in Nigeria is very high but the supply for it is very low. It richness is something to write home about.
Secondly, the way and manner beekeepers go about harvesting this honey is wrong. They use the bush burning method and which is highly against the law. They need to be educated more on beekeeping like its done in Europe and Americans.

Dear Marius,

Are you referring to honey prices on local markets/farm gate, in supermarkets in African towns, whole sales ?




That system hapens all over Africa, i have been talikg about this for 20 years we have to change our bee keeping practises so as to increase production or els we will be a major importer of honey 

Hi Charlotte, I was talking about the honey price when buying in bulk. Thank you, Ernest, for the insight. There are so many possibilities in the African honey business in Africa and it is sad to see that beekeepers are not being educated enough through the many beekeeping associations in Africa. I also read that there is a decline in the bee populations in Africa?


The problem in east and central Africa is there is lack of quqalified and professional people to train bee keepers on modern bee keeping using the african bees for commercial honey production, traditional bee keeping will never sustain the large markets of honey. the issue of bees declining is quit a contarverstial one, in this region but what i know form my 22 years of hands on experiance, bees are on the decline and no one is paying attention, and even trying to do anything about it, its quit a sab strory. 

Am a beekeeper in Nigeria.
I may not be able to say the price is high because as I google the price in other countries world wide the price I sell is almost same. I also discovered that price varies base on the source of nectar. However, the subsistence level of honey production in Africa may be a key factor in the high price. Honey harvesting is seasonal. where I am is once a year. So whatever I get is what I sell. There is also lack of pollinating contracts which could have enable keepers to move their hives to areas of high nectar flow, earning income from the pollination services and having more honey to harvest.


I'm a honeybee fodder/plant researcher and have lived in West Africa and the Caribbean for 3 years in the past doing beekeeping and working with locals. In the past year I have worked in Liberia and Kenya. Currently live in the US and previous to living in Africa, I worked for a small commerical beekeeper here.

From my experience, African (remember Africa is a continent, not a country and each have different rules/conditions) honey is expensive for 4 reasons.: 1) honey is of poor quality (e.g. usually due lack of education on the beekeeper; poor forage for the honeybees; high humidty and thus not transportable; inconsistant grade due to lack of appropriate technology or lack of technology) 2)Lack of transport or containers for shipping (e.g. having high enough quality and quanity to pack a food grade barrel and arrange transport to load and unload to port) 3)Poor storage for short or long term (e.g. causing higher humidity and ruining honey long term) 4)compliance with US and European regulations (e.g. inability or lack of access to fill out appropriate forms; no assistance to process for international  market from local governement or non-government organization)

International honey prices are due to bulk quanity, not necessarily quality. African honey is typically in small quanity with variable quality and should be compared with the speciality honey prices. 


Of course please let me know if you have any questions, I hope to share as much as I know and learn more and more.


High Regards,

Megan Wannarka