A Safe Haven with an Outgrower Programme for honey bees 

We are delighted to introduce a Wildlife Conservation Farm located in the Eastern Cape, which has embraced a discreet approach to safeguard its wildlife against the looming threats of poaching. Under the pseudonym The Reserves, this partner has graciously devoted 5 500 hectares to our Safe Haven program, marking a significant milestone as the inaugural participant to integrate the haven commitment with an Outgrowers initiative focused on beekeeping.

Conservation & Sustainability

With a dedication to conservation and the rejuvenation of our biodiversity corridors, The Reserves has embarked on the journey of upskilling two enthusiastic farm workers with beekeeping training. By championing honey bee sustainability and concurrently fostering biodiversity regeneration initiatives, they are bolstering honey bee forage, creating a honey bee pollinator-friendly environment.

The Eastern Cape & Our Newbees

In our Outgrowers program aspiring beekeepers receive comprehensive support from landowners, including financial assistance for acquiring essential equipment, as well as rigorous training in beekeeping practices.

Each Newbee assumes responsibility for managing their respective hives, with the harvested honey being sold back to the landowner. A portion of the proceeds is earmarked for reimbursing the landowner for the initial investment and any ongoing expenses incurred.

Furthermore, Our Newbees actively participate in our Bee Removal team, relocating hives back to their farms.

This collaborative effort not only contributes to the expansion of our beekeeping endeavors but also fosters a sense of community stewardship among participants.

A Growing Hive of Activity

Since its inception, the program has experienced a commendable growth in hive numbers. Starting modestly with two hives last year, The Reserves now boasts a number of hives, with the additional delight of wild swarms eagerly relocating to catchment hives.

Moreover, the team has successfully executed several bee rescues, further underscoring their dedication to safeguarding these invaluable pollinators.

In essence, this Safe Haven & Outgrowers Programme for Honey Bees stands as a testament to the collective commitment to preserving our natural heritage while upskilling individuals to empower local communities.

We are looking forward to the continued success and expansion of this initiative.


Beekeepers Outgrowers Programme
The Bee Effect outgrowers programme beekeepers form a network in the Eastern Cape region to facilitate the safe removal of honey bees, the colony then moved back to the relevant reserve of operation.

Upskilling & Upliftment

This initiative aims to uplift and empower communities by fostering the growth of beekeeping in the region.

Its primary objective is to increase skills and improve the overall quality of life for all participants involved.

The program is designed to bolster honey bee populations in the area, thereby supporting the role they play within the local biodiversity framework.


The Hybrid Zone

This land falls into a hybrid zone, a zone within which by law honey bees may not be moved in or out.  This is because we have two types of honey bees in South Africa, the African honey bee (Apis mellifera scutellata) and the Cape honey bee (Apis mellifera capensis). The Cape honey bee is unique in that it can wipe out the African honey bee. 

“The Cape honeybee is unique among honeybee subspecies because the workers can lay diploid female eggs, while workers of other subspecies can only lay haploid male eggs. This ability allows the Cape honeybee to become a social parasite in the African honeybee (A. m. scutellata) colonies, causing them to dwindle and often die. This has happened in parts of South Africa where the Cape honeybee was introduced to areas in the north of the country.” SANBI

If you are keen to know more about this zone and how the African and Cape honey bees interact read: Honeybee hybrid zone in South Africa M Beekman et al

Towns on the borderline that divides the African and the Cape honeybees : Bizana, Flagstaff, Mt Ayliff, Mt Frere, Mt Fletcher, Matatiele, Maclear, Eliot, Indwe, Glen Grey, Sterkstroom, Tarka, Cradock, Graaff Reinet, Murrysgurg, Beufort west, Fraserburg, Williston, Calvinia, Van Rhynsdorp and Vredendal.
No person is allowed to move or keep the Cape honey bees (Apis mellifere capensis) north of the line or the African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata ) south of the line without written approval from the executive officer in terms of Regulation R.858 of the Agricultural Pests Act, 1983 (Act No.36 of 1983).

The Reserve