South African Standards in Beekeeping

All industries have Standards which they like to promote to ensure standardization, conformity and awareness within the industry.

SABIO is in the process of reviewing Standards within the beekeeping industry to assist all participants. Inputs, constructive commentary and constant assessment of Standards from the beekeeping community is welcomed to assist us in establishing an acceptable set of norms to ensure statutory and world class compliance within our industry.

honey standardsHoney Standards

Honey Standards are currently promulgated in terms of Regulation 835 dated 25 August 2000 in terms of the Agricultural Products Standards Act, 1990 (Act no. 119 of 1990): Regulations relating to the Grading, Packing and Marking of Honey and Mixtures of Bee Products intended for sale in the Republic of South Africa.

Refer to the Legislation Page for a copy of these Regulations.

Beehive StandardsBeehive Standards

In South Africa the generally acceptable method of beekeeping is through the use of Langstroth type beehives.

The efficiency of harvesting honey through the use of shallow (standard) or deep supers makes this method of keeping bees preferable. For pollination purposes and transport of migratory beekeeping the Langstroth beehive is more suitable for modern day beekeeping.

In some rural communities the use of top-bar hives is still advocated but the efficiency of harvesting honey for commercial purposes and the restrictions on maximising seasonal harvests does not make the extensive use of this type of beehive viable.

Whilst there are a number of size variations and adaptions of the Langstroth beehive by some manufacturers and individual commercial beekeepers SABIO is endeavouring to formulate a standard size for the components of beehives.

Further work on this has to be done. A Beehive Components Standards document will shortly be published.

The standard South African brood chamber with 10 frames and a healthy colony of A. m. scutellata. If handled properly this sub-specie is quite manageable and produces a good annual crop of honey.

Pollination StandardsPollination Standards

SABIO are at present in process of developing national pollination standard guidelines. Enquiries for the scutellate region can be directed to SABIO Board members, Dr Adriaan du Toit and Danie Vorster for the capensis region.

Blueberry and honeybee, a complex pollination relationship

Sunflower remain one of the most important pollinated crops in South Africa.