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Honeybees have been successfully farmed for thousands of years and their products are highly valued in the home and the market. Beekeeping is a comparatively low investment activity which requires only beehives, protective clothing and a few simple tools.
The honeybee is a natural resource (and as such is "free"), land ownership is unnecessary and there is no daily routine of feeding, watering and medicating. Along with the reward of a crop of honey and other useful hive products, the finest fruit, vegetables and seed result from bee pollination. This guide aims to: encourage and inspire potential beekeepers, whether weekend hobbyists, rural people, farm workers or entrepreneurs; promote the craft of beekeeping as a profitable and sustainable small to medium-sized business initiative; promote understanding of the organised and productive society of the honey bee; provide a store of useful data on bees and beekeeping, seasoned with a blend of interesting information and folklore; and advance a vigorous honey producing industry in southern Africa and, ultimately, the export of surplus hive products.