Help provide a future for African beekeepers

by Bee.Watch Ltd in Kenya

Help provide a future for African beekeepers

Total raised £4,695

raised so far



AIM: Build the first of many Honey Processing Hubs where rural beekeepers bring their honey, process it for export, and get paid instantly

by Bee.Watch Ltd in Kenya

We're still collecting donations

On the 5th January 2023 we'd raised £4,670 with 31 supporters in 69 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

ApiTrace: bringing wholesale market access and traceability to both the rural and the very remote beekeepers of sub-Saharan Africa.

World markets demand traceability for exportable food products and without technology this is an almost impossible ask for the 5 million beekeepers of sub-Saharan Africa.

ApiTrace is a honey and beeswax traceability system that starts by putting a QR code on every bee hive in an apiary whose beekeeper wants access to wholesale markets, to grow their business.

Our back story

uWatch Ltd were busy developing the Bee.Watch Apiary Management System as one beekeeping director Norman Guiver was concerned about the impact of pesticides on his apiary and understood the need to record detailed data on every hive, using an app and unique QR codes for accurate identification.  

In 2019 uWatch were approached by Andrew Soita of the Africa Apiculture Consortium (AAC) who explained the problems the African honey industry was having breaking into world markets. Fundamentally 98% of beekeepers produce honey solely for domestic use, and as such wholesalers had no clue where the honey they were collecting from rural markets came from.   

Without traceability the quality cannot be guaranteed, the volumes inconsistent and hence the honey, some of which is of very high quality, cannot be exported.

With a little internet research, we were amazed to find out that while the UK currently imports almost £100 million of honey each year, a lot of it very poor quality, and, while the whole of Africa produces significant amounts, it only exports £16 million.

The ApiTrace Partnership was formed between uWatch and the AAC and we worked together researching the issues, localising the Bee.Watch system into ApiTrace, translating it into French and Swahili.

However, having established traceability, the real challenge was how to bring the wholesale market to the domestic rural producer, who may only have a few hives. In February 2022 the Partnership undertook a UK Government-funded feasibility study which came up with the answer. 

Two converted shipping containers fitted out with a commercial honey processing line, training room and office powered by renewables could easily generate a tonne per day of traceable market-ready honey.. 

It is known as a Honey Processing Hub.

Our Mission

The aim of the ApiTrace Partnership is to provide this market access to sub-Saharan Africa’s predominantly domestic (98%) and female beekeepers (78%) through local Honey Processing Hubs (HPHs) starting with the first to be funded by this campaign.

The following video will give a more detailed insight into the project.


Message from the Managing Director

"I am Beryl Guiver, Managing Director of uWatch.

We are moving to the final phase of this exciting and worthwhile project to get our first Honey Processing Hub on the ground in Kenya. We have been trying to raise funds and have had some success but there are many calls on funding agencies and we need your help.

I hope we have demonstrated the dramatic and life enhancing effect this project will have, especially for women in rural communities. Once the first honey processing hub is up and running we are confident investors will see the opportunities it will create and further hubs will follow.

Please help us with this crowd funding campaign.

Thank you."

The Honey Processing Hub

As you can see Joan and Kavisa are active beekeepers working in very harsh conditions, but with the absence of pesticide use in very rural areas they have the opportunity to produce very pure and high-quality honey for export if we can only deliver them the first Honey Processing Hub.



How does ApiTrace work in the field?

In this next video you will see the flow of work that the full ApiTrace system manages and how the Bee Inspectors employed by the Africa Honey Consortium can deliver what Joan and Kavisa are asking for.

ApiTrace Schematic:



How much do we need to raise?

The first HPH will be a prototype from which the standard HPH will be developed and rolled out.  Training programs and Operating procedures will be developed by the Africa Apiculture Consortium. With approximately 250,000 beekeepers in Kenya alone, 50 Honey Processing Hubs will provide capacity to serve half of the nation's beekeeping population.

  • £38,000 - professional honey processing equipment sourced from Paradise Honey, Finland
  • £14,000 - to purchase and convert two 20' shipping containers for food production
  • £16,000 - solar power system, WiFi hotspot, computerised weighing facility linked to user accounts and the digital payment gateway
  • £18,000 - consumables and equipment, including 3,000 25 litre honey barrels for transportation, training room equipment, and staff training/project management

Research and Trials

Following the successful feasibility study carried out with UK Research and Innovation, the ApiTrace Partnership are looking to begin bringing the benefits of ApiTrace to a rural community in Kitui County.

The feasibility study report is available to view here.

The Africa Apiculture Consortium is also responsible for registering beekeepers, managing HPHs, employing operators, training Bee Inspectors, and developing standards and training programs for Africa Apiculture Vocational Qualification. It will also ensure that the first Honey Processing Hub is delivered to the prototype specifications concluded in the Innovate UK study, and developing a model HPH that can be rolled out.

ApiTrace and the Sustainable Development Goals

ApiTrace uses technology to address issues related to poverty, gender equality, lack of opportunity and corruption, to provide traceability and commercialise the honey market for producers by making their honey a cash crop. Only a few square metres of land are needed for a family to keep six hives, providing the funds to bring up and educate two children.

ApiTrace addresses 14 of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Of the 14 SDGs Goals that ApiTrace addresses, SDG #5 and SDG #10 are of particular importance to the project. As USAID note, women in Kenya are significantly less likely to participate in the labour market or education, and as 78% of Kenya’s beekeepers are women and girls, ApiTrace seeks to benefit these groups in particular by creating opportunities that they can access using skills they already have, or gain training and education via African Apiculture Vocational Qualifications through the training facilities at their local HPH which will be verified by the ApiTrace Bee Inspector during monthly apiary inspections.

It creates opportunities that are accessible for all as large acreage of land are not required to be converted to monoculture, employing few people but ApiTrace will instead transform a pre-existing region-wide domestic practice into a sustainable commercial industry that enhances the environment and biodiversity. Alongside this, ApiTrace allows the region’s predominantly female beekeepers to receive income using their already existing beekeeping skills.

Furthermore, as sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to be one of the regions most affected by the adverse effects of climate change, data is invaluable for academic research and for the formulation of effective policies. ApiTrace passively generates geospatial big-data on climate, pesticide use and local flora through recording apiary inspections, and testing for contaminants as a by-product of the activities carried out by beekeepers and ApiTrace Bee Inspectors.

As the threat to honeybees and pollinators is well understood, as well as the valuable services that they contribute to biodiversity, pesticide tracing is key to ApiTrace and essential to the SDG #15 (Life on Land).

HPHs carry out testing for contaminants at the point of sale, refusing produce containing high levels of pesticide. ApiTrace will raise awareness of the negative impact of industrial pesticide usage on honeybees and the environment. Alongside this, producers who train to receive African Apiculture Vocational Qualifications at their local HPH will be informed of the importance of local biodiversity as forage for honeybees, the importance of honeybees and other pollinators within ecosystems, and the impacts of pesticide and herbicide usage on flora and fauna in the local environment.

Boosting rural economies

By making their honey a cash crop, ApiTrace will further benefit local economies as beekeeping-linked businesses are set up as beekeepers expand their apiaries and invest in more equipment and services.

With a single Honey Processing Hub operating at 1/2 capacity and processing around one tonne of honey per day, ~£750,000 will be put into its local economy over the course of the year, through the payments made to beekeepers.

It is anticipated that ApiTrace will be attractive to investment (both public and private) once the prototype HPH is operational and bringing benefits of traceability and market access to the rural communities.

With 50 Honey Processing Hubs, to serve around half of Kenya’s 225,000 beekeepers, there is potential to annually generate 11,000 tonnes of export-ready honey worth £55,000,000, putting £38,000,000 of ‘new money’ into Kenya’s rural economy.


Thank you for taking the time to check out our campaign. Please share this page with your friends and family, and consider contributing. Doing so will help us deliver these benefits to the women beekeepers and rural communities of sub-Saharan Africa.


This project offered rewards

£15 or more

£15 Reward

Receive a copy of our extremely popular "The Upstairs Downstairs Hive Intrance" Booklet.

£30 or more

£30 Reward

Contribute £30 and receive: Bee.Watch's award-winning 'Upstairs Downstairs' follow-on kit, History of the Upstairs Downstairs hive booklet, and a Jute 'Honey Bag'

£40 or more

£40 Reward

Contribute £40 and receive: Bee.Watch Ltd's award-winning 'Upstairs Downstairs' starter kit, History of the Upstairs Downstairs hive booklet and a Jute 'Honey Bag'

£40 or more

£40 Reward: Honey

Contribute £40 and receive a 1lb jar of African honey, delivered at the 2023 National Honey Show

£75 or more

£75 Reward

Contribute £75 and receive: Upstairs Downstairs Hive Intrance “Starter” + “Follow on" kits, History of the Upstairs Downstairs Hive booklet, Jute “Honey bag” and a one year subscription to the Bee.Watch app

£75 or more

£75 Reward: Honey

Contribute £75 and receive 4lbs of African honey and a jute "honey bag", delivered at the 2023 National Honey Show

£350 or more

£350 Reward

Contribute £350 and receive a presentation to your association or organisation on the ApiTrace project and opportunities it creates, how it addresses the UN’s SDGs, the Upstairs Downstairs Hive Intrance and the fundamental awakening it is creating in the bee keeping community.

£3,000 or more

Founding Member Reward

Contribute £3,000 to become a Founding Member of the ApiTrace Africa Project. You will have your name inscribed on a plaque on the first Honey Processing Hub, receive regular updates from Bee.Watch and the Africa Apiculture Consortium, and have access to purchase African honey in bulk quantities as it becomes available.

£78,000 or more

Honey Processing Hub Owner

Become the owner of your own Honey Processing Hub, and the land it sits on. This HPH will be named after you, and can be located in any of the member countries of the Africa Apiculture Consortium (AAC). Open to visit any time, welcomed by the local beekeeping community. Your HPH will be operated and maintained by the AAC. Contact us for more information.

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