This system is the recipient of the 2014 R1 million SAB Social Innovation Award.
Bee-Pak is trademarked as the world’s first flat-pack composite beehive system. With an encapsulated thermal core as insulation, it is designed to optimise the health, survival and production capacity of the honey bee swarm. At the same time, it helps to create new jobs and enterprises in rural areas.
Bee-Pak innovators Greg Aberdeen and Mark Collins explain that the design eliminates 60% of the pathogens that destroy bee colonies. Weighing just 15kg, compared with the 30kg to 50kg of a conventional wooden beehive, it enables a beekeeper with limited transportation to move it easily. With 20 hives, a beekeeper can make a good, environmentally friendly living in rural Africa.
The hives are highly resistant to parasites, provide no access to woodworm, termite or any pests associated with wooden hives, and are highly resistant to honey badger assault. They also remain functional even in extreme temperatures.
As a bonus, a Bee-Pak accommodates more frames than the traditional hive, allowing a beekeeper to increase average production by 5kg of honey or more per hive.
Its lifespan is about 50 years, 10 times that of a conventional wooden hive. Aberdeen says that it took three years of intensive research to develop the system. “Innovation doesn’t have to be all about technology,” he explains. “Sometimes going back to the basics makes the greatest difference.” At its fourth Annual Social Innovation Awards, the SAB Foundation awarded the compact bee farming system its R1 million prize.
“This prize from the SAB Foundation will allow us to grow Bee-Pak substantially. We can now increase our workforce by more than 40 people and increase our production to promote the system as a means of income generation in rural areas,” says Aberdeen.
All hives are standard Langstroth dimensions. Prices, listed alongside, include frames, queen excluder, beekeeping DVD, swarm lure and transport within SA borders. Bee-Pak is in the process of registering for VAT, so these prices currently exclude VAT.
Phone +27 73 496 9158 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SAB Foundation Social Innovations Awards invests in pro-poor products and services that address challenges faced by the foundation’s beneficiaries – women, the youth, people with disabilities, and those in rural areas.
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