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Beekeeping in Rwanda has been practiced for many years through successive generations and along inherited patterns. However, the activity has basically been traditional and of subsistence in nature, where honey was used as a food product for home, medicine and for brewing traditional liquor.

Beekeeping has progressively become a very important component with the growing export and local market. In recent years, Rwanda has managed to put in place all the key institutional and legal instruments that are needed to structure Rwanda’s long-term development for honey industry. Rwanda produces mostly honey, beeswax and propolis. Rwandan bee products have a good potential, mostly because of Rwanda’s excellent natural ecological factors. Rwanda has healthy wild bees, that are resistant to diseases and the natural forests, with wild plant resources, provide a honey made of special pesticide-free, vegetation and the vast amount of eucalyptus trees alsoproduces a special and popular type of honey. The demand for honey is high and Rwandan honey producers have been challenged to increase the capacity. Honey has a high market value especially in the export market. Health-conscious consumers are more aware of its therapeutic properties. It is used to make a variety of foods confectionery and food preservative.


Trends in honey production and uses.

Bee products that are produced worldwide are comb honey, extracted honey, chunk honey,beeswax, royal jelly, propolis and pollen.

The price of honey has been increasing for the past years and there is especially a growing market for certified organic honey and fair trade honey, for which a higher price is paid.


Honey is made by bees from nectar which is a sugary secretion of flowers. It contains sugars (80-85%) that are easily absorbed by the body. Honey is a very good energy food and also used as a sweetener. It has medicinal properties, often used to help cure coughs, ulcers, wounds and sore throats. Honey has attractive chemical properties for baking and a distinctive flavor, which makes some people prefer it to sugar and other sweeteners.

Honey Processing Guidelines.

A honey processing establishment should be located in an area, which is reasonably free from objectionable odours, smoke, dust and other contaminants.


  •  The establishment must be completely separated from any other buildings used for industrial, commercial, agricultural, and residential purposes.
  •  Handling and separation of honey from the bees and bees wax during processing should be done in hygienic conditions to avoid contamination from other external materials.


The following key points are taken into consideration during product separation:

  • Adequate separation of honey reception area, processing hall, packaging and storage.
  • If a retail business is carried on within the official premises of the establishment, customers are normally excluded from the rest of the honey establishment.
  • Equipment and utensils used for preparing, processing and handling honey must be of a material that can be easily cleaned and disinfected. They must be also made of stainless steel or other material resistant to honey corrosion such as plastic and glass.

Classification of honey

The honey is classified into three broad groups based on the floral source of the nectar from which it is made. Honey can be from a specific type of flower nectar of origin, but can also be blended after collection.

  • Blended: Most commercially available honey is blended. It is a mixture of two or more honeys differing in floral source, color, flavor, density or geographic origin.
  • Polyfloral: Polyfloral honey, also known as wildflower honey, is derived from the nectar of many types of flowers.
  • Monofloral: Monofloral honey is made primarily from the nectar of one type of flower. In order to produce monofloral honey, beekeepers keep beehives in an area where the bees have access to only one type of flower.

In order to streamline the development of honey industry, NAEB and its stakeholders will continue to:

(i)To  identify bee farmers , train  and organize  in cooperatives, unions and federation;

(ii) Develop the sector  policy, regulations & guidelines and beekeeping standards;

(iii)                Dissemination of the modern beekeeping technology with modern bee hives to increase production;

(iv)               Production of high quality of  bees products  with high value for  beekeepers

(v) Development of  beekeeping training manuals and integrate youth and women in this sector

(vi)               Support beekeepers to upgrade the beekeeping  infrastructures ( Honey collection Centers in compliance  with  standards) at the union level;

(vii)              Mobilize the private sector and potential investors to actively engage in the sector development

(viii) Advocate for access to finance for bee keepers