5,000 yrs in Ethiopia

Honey and Beeswax

Beekeeping in Ethiopia:

A brief history

Beekeeping has been practiced in Ethiopia for over 5,000 years, with evidence dating its presence in Ethiopia as far back as 3,500 to 3,000 BC. Folklore rumors that the Queen of Sheba brought honey back to the country after her famous visit with King Solomon in Jerusalem, a visit that is of significant historical importance in Ethiopia’s national mythology. Other Ethiopian rulers are also famously linked to beekeeping, including the great King Lalibela from the 13th century, whose monolithic rock-hewn churches remain one of the country’s most important spiritual destinations and populartourist attractions. According to legend, the king was named “Lalibela” – or “recognized as a ruler by the bees” in the language of the time – by his mother when she saw a swarm of bees surround him as a newborn. The town of Lalibela is still known for the sweet taste of its honey

70% of domestic honey consumption goes into making Tej

As far back as the third century AD, when the Aksumite King Ezana made it famous, honey has been used by Ethiopia’s nobility and social elite in the preparation of a traditional honey mead and the production of candles for high profile events and religious ceremonies. These remain the two most common domestic outputs from Ethiopian beekeeping. Today, more than 70% of domestic honey consumption goes into making the local honey mead, called tej, the“national drink” of Ethiopia. Local tej makers often use the beeswax by product of their brewing to

Bees wax

  • Useful primarily for honeycomb
  • Cosmetic industries
  • Candle making
  • Ointment and cream
  • Varnishes and polishes,
  • Creating special forms and surfaces for artistic sculptures.
  • Other beekeeping products such as pollen, royal jelly, bee venom, propolis are used in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and food industry.

An organic natural sugar
used as a substitute for sugar in many food and drinks



Contains fructose,glucose,carbohydrates,vitamins and minerals.


A great source of energy.


Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidants


Indefinite shelf life if stored correctly.


Easily adapts to cooking process.


Used in the cosmetics industry for skin care and hair products.


An organic natural sugar
used as a substitute for sugar in many food and drinks


  • Schefera abyssinica
  • Guizotia scabra
  • Acacia
  • Eucalyptus globules
  • Vernonia amygdalin
  • EriBecium grandiflorum
  • Coffea Arabic
  • Syzygium guineense
  • Haypoestes forskoalii

Traditional small-scale beekeeping still accounts for more than 90% of the current production of honey nd almost all of the beeswax.Adoption of modern hives, which produce three times more than the traditional hives, is nascent but growing across the country.Currently, only 2-3% of Ethiopia’s honey and 10% of its beeswax make their way to international markets. Both the export and domestic markets for these products are untapped and show remarkable potential.


Why Ethiopian honey and beeswax ?

significant potential to produce mono-floral specialty honey such as coffee honey, acacia honey, cactus fruit honey, and eucalyptus honey
who make up 70% of producers


Potential to tap into organic honey and beeswax markets

Ethiopian honey is produced organically. It has been listed by the European Commission as one of the few countries
from which it is permitted to export organic honey and beeswax, creating a largely untapped opportunity for companies exporting honey from Ethiopia


Availability of unique specialty honeys

signifcant potential to produce mono-floral specialty honey such as coffee honey,acacia honey, cactus fruit
honey, and eucalyptus honey


Supports Environmental Conservation

Ethiopia promotes beekeeping
in forests and protectedareas  to promote global plant diversity and environmental
health. Beekeeping has no negative impact on the environment and is highly
suited to the environment.

The Agricultural Transformation Agency is an initiative of the Federal Government of Ethiopia Off Meskal Flower Road, across from Commercial Graduates Association