Mokgadi Mabela is the owner of Native Nosi, a bee farming company specialising in organic honey production.
The young black female beekeeper is from a beekeeping family.
This is a family legacy. My grandfather used to be a crop farmer and had some beehives on hos farmer to pollinate his crops. When my father grew up, he became interested in the beehives.— Mokgadi Mabela, owner of Native Nosi
Mabela has 80 active beehives and gets help from family members, in addition to hiring seasonal labour.
She explains that Native Nosi works closely with farmers as they don't own any land.
They also buy honey from rural farmers who don't have access to market, in order to meet the demand for their product.
Native Nosi works mainly with the African bee species and hopes to branch out into producing propolis and beeswax, when they reach a higher scale.
We're looking at buying more beehives, because our honey is in demand.— Mokgadi Mabela, owner of Native Nosi
From the beehive, you can have beeswax, honey, propolis.— Mokgadi Mabela, owner of Native Nosi
Without bees, we won't have fruits, we won't have vegetables, seeds or nuts.— Mokgadi Mabela, owner of Native Nosi
Mabela says that over 50% of honey sold in SA is imported and Native Nosi wants to scale up and change the landscape by creating more business opportunities for others.
She spoke about her entrepreneurial journey and challenges in the industry, barriers to entry and including lack of transformation.
Listen to her explore the business of honey production and the impact of declining bee populations: