Our Beekeepers

Meet the people who bring raw, organic honey from the forest to your table.

Thomas Mwiga

Mlele Hills Forest Reserve 

Thomas Mwiga is a father, grandfather and traditional beekeeper leader. Thomas has been beekeeping for the past 5 years in the Mlele Hills Forest Reserve, teaching other farmers in his community about sustainable beekeeping practices. Thomas believes that “bees and honey are the heart of the forest—they provide us with plants, food, and health for our children. We cannot exist without them.” For generations, Thomas and his family have been farming in the Mlele forests, sourcing materials for their livelihood. Aside from beekeeping, Thomas farms maize, rice and sunflower for his family and to sell on the local market. He is also a carpenter, using timber from the forest to make his own hives. He plans to expand his apiaries and build more beehives to educate more honey farmers. Thomas, 60 years old, hopes to one day pass his land down to his children and grandchildren so they can continue the tradition.

Leonard Mahenge

Mlele Hills Forest Reserve 

Leonard’s interest in beekeeping began 6 years ago when his father passed down the family trade. He recalls his father climbing to the top of the tree, bringing down fresh honeycombs, and splitting them between him and his brother. Now 30 years old, Leonard is proud to continue his father’s legacy and carry on the family tradition with his 4 children. Leonard farms his honey from the Mlele Hills Forest Reserve where he owns 7 acres of apiary sites. At the end of the season, Leonard and his children visit each site to collect the ready honeycombs and turn into raw honey. Leonard’s family lives quite far from the nearest town, therefore they rely on raw honey for its medicinal healing properties as well as food and tea. Leonard is happy to share his honey with you and intends to use his income to become a successful honey businessman like his father.

Canisius Ntamori

Kigosi Game Reserveve 

Canisius Ntamori lives in Ushirombo, a small town in northwestern Tanzania known for its long-established beekeeping industry. Canisius grew up watching beekeepers transport hives on their bicycles and selling honey in the local markets and knew he wanted to do the same. Canisius farms his honey from the Kigosi Game Reserve, harvesting at least twice a year on his 2-acre apiary. He uses wood and other locally available resources to construct his hive for bees to build their colonies and make fresh honey. When the hive is ready, he smokes out the bees to collect the honey but always ensures the bees have enough to survive. Canisius loves to use honey in his morning chai and in his grandchildren’s porridge right before they go to school. He hopes to use the funds from his honey business to repair his home and give each of his grandchildren their own bedroom.

William Binigie

Kigosi Game Reserveve 

William Binigie, 59, has been beekeeping ever since he was 14 years old. William comes from Runzewe village, a remote community in the Kigosi Forest Reserve where traditional beekeeping has been practiced for generations. William first took up beekeeping as a child to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, he remembers his father and grandfather waking up at dawn and venturing off into the forest to collect honey for the family. Beekeeping started off as a hobby for William but he soon realized its economic potential and it is now the primary source of income for him and his family. William believes that a family with honey is a healthy household; honey provides a family with food, medicine, and income. He plans to strengthen his beekeeping activities within the next year to meet the demands of the local and international market by building 10-20 more hives on his 8-acre apiary. William is hopeful to make a profitable living off his honey sales and send all of his children to school so they can carry on the family business.