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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.


I don't think the honey in Africa is expensive. It is probably the other way around - honey in other countries is cheap! Why should honey be cheap? It is one of the best gifts for food that anyone can have. And now, with stories of bees dying all over the world from causes not started in Africa, we better learn to appreciate that bees are still there in the "undeveloped" regions. So, if we cannot do anything to prevent further death to the bees, then let us accept that honey can be expensive. And valuable.

In India too good honey can cost equivalent of $10 per kg. Prices vary due to the floral source and so some seasonal honeys are expensive for their flavour and aroma.

Of course, there are destruction issues particularly while extracting honey from the wild. But then collectors of wild honey  in India do smoke the bees away to lessen the damage.

Thank you, everyone, for the valuable input. Who in Africa is currently working towards training beekeepers and at what scale and cost? It seems that the training of beekeepers is a costly venture? Maybe we should consolidate efforts in order to spread the costs and create a bigger awareness of the beekeeping industry and its importance on the world markets? Your thoughts?

The cost of training may be very high and can also be very low, depending on the training package and also if there are sponsor. Many years ago I was trained by a foreign NGO who later supplied my group with start up equipment. These equipment was a boost to my group. And you ll agree this will be very cheap on the side of the beneficiary. I was picked as trainers for the NGO, and I have been training groups who applied for training from the NGO. Others also come to me personally for training and this may be expensive.
But what is important is to get the right knowledge, and start small and gradually build up.

I am Dickson and I work with The Uganda National Apiculture Development Organisation (TUNADO) which is a national body for beekeepers in Uganda. Thank you for asking such a question. Just to give some ideas. In Uganda, honey is traditionally used for making local brew known as enturire. It is consumed by old, young, believers and non-believers. It is a ceremonial drink creating a huge demand. Supermarket and hotel era has just begun in Africa with increasing honey demand. Again, it should be noted that there are many TBT for Africa to access international market (just like accessing visa to developed countries Vs someone from developed country coming to Africa). In Uganda since 2005 whenever, honey samples are analysed and submitted to EU, we qualify. That means the quality of the honey in the hive is perfect. Training in harvesting and post-harvest handling is where we are now focusing to maintain the quality. Farmers are scattered and the infrastructure is not well developed and this increases the cost of transporting honey. It should be appreciated that not many years ago beekeepers in Africa were honey hunters gradually to thinking of beekeeping as a business. My request is that other than thinking of honey as being highly priced, let us focus on skilling many African farmers to produce quality and in large quantities that way the SUPPLY and Demand will determine the price. Lastly in Uganda the price in question is not farm gate it is rather supermarket price.


Dickson, If I understand you correctly, do you mean to say that the bulk prices on honey in Africa are based on retail prices because the supply is less than the demand?

I now do understand that Africa is now only waking up to the possibilities of honey trade on the global market and infrastructure does play a role in costs, also demand and supply are driving the prices high. Unfortunately, China is the price setters of honey on the global market and in order for Africa to become more competitive on the global market, the price does have to come down.

An interesting study on the honey market in the EU showed that the price range for industrial honey ( non-organic ) is ranging between $1.50 on the low end to $4.01 on the high end being monofloral honey. An organically certified honey range between $2.40 on the low end to $11.46 on the high end being monofloral honey. Quality does play a huge role in price and is determined from the Intertek Lab reports on Moisture, Diastase, and HMF levels. Also monofloral honey will be more expensive than a poly-floral honey.

I welcome any other insight to this topic and please do comment on my summary so far.


Kind Regards




Sorry been away and hence delayed response.

I understand that China is setting the price for honey internationally and as a country we have got to make decision to trade globally at a low price or not. In Uganda for example it is still lucrative to trade domestically and we are focusing on creating local demand for honey at considerable good price to the beekeepers. Ofcourse this is attracting more people into beekeeping but also make existing beekeepers invest more. We are aware that this will eventually lead to increased honey production. Once this happens and the supply is greater than demand, the prices will automatically fall and hence competitive internationally. However, my prayer is that while buying African Honey beyond just buying honey, buy the story behind the product. Look at the impact your money is making in the lives of the poor beekeeper. In Uganda for example beekeeping is practiced by poor farmers and hence any extra cent you pay counts towards poverty eradication.


The Uganda National Apiculture Development Organisation (TUNADO) is organising the 8th National Honey Week 21-26 Aug 2017 at Forest Mall Lugogo Kampala Uganda. Theme Bee Friendly Farming. The event will attract beekeepers all over the country, honey buyers, equipment makers, financial institutions, conservationist, farmers Government (Ministry of Agriculture, Uganda Coffee Development Authority, Uganda National Bureau of Standards) and Development partners . Pollination poem competition for aged 6-12 years has also been organised, pollination workshop and four ground exhibition 23-26th Aug 2017. Entrance free to the general public


I work with an NGO that manages a small Beekeeping Resource Centre in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. The Centre provides basic beekeeping training, equipment supply, and extension services. Beekeeping is not popular in this oil rich region and the people live in abject poverty, with an environment  polluted through activities on oil exploration. The region has timber and mangrove forest with flora and fauna resources that should make beekeeping a worthwhile venture, but the people have negative believe on the  honeybees which make it difficult to develop beekeeping industry in the region.

The NGO aim to use beekeeping to improve livelihoods and also sustain the environment. And for this to work, the Centre currently carry out sensitisation, train, and encourage interested persons to go into beekeeping practice in the rural communities.

Also, the menance caused by activities of honey hunters is becoming major concern to the small number of beekeepers in the region. Aside putting adulterated honey in the market, it reduces population of bees, causes bush fire, and vanderlises beekeepers' apiaries.

Presently, the NGO is working on a proposal to identify, train and encourage the honey hunters to go into modern beekeeping practice in their communities.

We have limited resources to carry on with this project, and it will be highly appreciated if we get kind support of volunteers to provide technical and other forms of assistance to make us suceed. 

Please contact me if you can help.




My names are Dinga Joseph Kwella an Agricutural Extension and Training Technician, i have been practicing beekeeping for the past 13 years using the local and the KTB hives. Presently i work with the PROCEFFA platform Yaounde Cameroon in the Projet D'integration De L'Apiculture Dans Les Ceffa's supported by Miel Maya Honing Belgium.

I wish to participate in the discussion why honey from Africa is expensive

The African honey bee is nurtured in rural areas of Africa that are home to hundred of indigenous melliferous trees, many of which contain medicinal properties. Different plants flowers at different times according to the seasons and climate. Because of the variety of plants that bees forage on, the medicinal properties of the African honey are much higher than other honey thus giving it a high value in the market.