African Bronze Honey comes from the vast 12,000 sq. km West Lunga Forest, an African miombo woodland forest preserve in the northwest region of Zambia that borders Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is the headwaters of the mighty Zambezi River – remote, undeveloped and pristine.
Gathered twice a year, African Bronze is a dark, antioxidant and micronutrient rich, full flavoured, tropical forest honey. Our honey has notes of treacle, whisky, dried fruit, smoke and maple syrup.
The bees gather nectar from a vastly diverse array of plants, trees and flowers, many of which are embraced by traditional medicine for their healing properties. Modern science has begun to substantiate the nutritional benefits of raw honey as well as its natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Our honey is raw, unpasteurized, gravity filtered, natural honey produced by wild bees. It comes from an area free from chemicals, pharmaceutical compounds and GMO’s. African Bronze Honey is Certified Organic by EcoCert. This certification exceeds Canadian and USDA Organic standards.
Our honey embodies the principles of Fair Trade: opportunity, transparency, capacity, fair price, safe working conditions, environmental stewardship and respect for cultural identity.
Forest Fruits of Zambia and the African Bronze Honey Project are dedicated to preserving and promoting traditional practices in a sustainable manner. Hives are made from bark or hollow logs and placed high in the forest canopy. The hives are baited with honey to attract a colony of wild bees, then the honey is carefully removed from the end of the hive to protect the colony. Twice a year the honey is brought to the edge of the forest for sale to Forest Fruits. This means a hot 20 kilometre or longer trek carrying buckets that weigh 50 kgs or more.
Four-wheel drive trucks are used to collect the buckets of raw honey from across the forest after harvest. Forest Fruits and the beekeepers agree on price and payment is made in cash. Pre-purchased goods ordered by beekeepers at the last harvest are unloaded from the trucks. Meetings and discussions are held long into the night. Plans and forecasts for the next harvest are made and everyone enjoys another profitable season.
The big, lumbering overland trucks depart with thousands of buckets for the provincial town of Mwinilunga for ‘primary processing’. Here the honey is separated from the comb by hand, packed in barrels and then trucked to Forest Fruits’ factory in Lusaka for bottling. The factory employs nearly 100 people; at least 60% are women. They carefully label, fill, cap and pack every bottle by hand.
After inspection, a container is packed to the roof with thousands of cases of African Bronze Honey. It crosses the Namibian desert by truck to the coastal town of Walvis Bay, where it’s loaded into the hold of a container ship. For three weeks it sleeps as the massive boat makes its way up the coast and on to Europe, then across the Atlantic to Montreal for unloading and inspection. Then by truck to our warm warehouse… where it waits for you.
African Bronze Honey is like no other... it is Africa.