A topic that might have become more of a concern amongst many lately is that of the crucial part bees have to play in our very existence. Bees play a vital role in pollinating many of the fruit and vegetables that we eat.

There is a growing fear that honey bees are starting to fade in numbers globally. This phenomenon could potentially have a dire impact on us. 

To be a bee farmer might seem like such an odd job for many. However, when one takes a deeper look into this profession, it can arguably be one of the most significant duties to perform in the agriculture world today.

Xander is a bee farmer living on a small holding just outside of Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape. He is very passionate about his work as a beekeeper and cares greatly about making quality honey but also aims to share his wealth of knowledge with others. He has gained this knowledge through many years within areas that are in desperate need of a better bee population. In 2016 Xander started his first project in the small country of Lesotho. The aim of this project is to work and teach beekeeping to local village folk to try and assist them in boosting their bee population that is drastically dwindling. 

With little experience and some basic knowledge gained after working with another bee farmer in the Eastern Cape, Xander started this journey of bee keeping shortly after serving in the army for 2 years.  He chose to do this job because he loves to work with his hands in nature to better the environment. 

The role of a beekeeper has its fair share of difficulties and opposition. Xander mentioned a few of these with me.  Firstly, 70% of the honey that people buy in South Africa is imported, honey. The honey that comes from abroad is also stripped of all its health benefiting properties as they are taken through a process of irradiation to extend shelf life. 

This honey then arrives in the country at a much cheaper price than local commercial bee farmers can afford to sell their honey for. Bees are also exposed to pesticides, parasites, and diseases that have a significant impact on the current global bee population.

Xander boasts a 100% raw honey that he produces without any harm to all the valuable properties found in honey. His honey is separated from the frames by using a process of spinning the honey out from the combs. This method means that it does not need to be heated up to separate from the combs.

Visit Xander's website for more information: rautenbachapiaries.co.za