About us

Api-3T Business 

Api-3T is a specialist beekeeping company offering training, tourism and trade (3Ts) to support the development of the apiculture sector in Ethiopia. We are able to provide specialist beekeeping training and consultancy services across Ethiopia. Please contact us to discuss your requirements. Api-3T is a social enterprise and proceeds from the company’s commercial and consultancy work are re-invested into Bees for Development Ethiopia’s charitable work, helping people out of poverty with bees.

Our approach to beekeeping development in Ethiopia 

As a team of committed beekeeping professionals we have over 60 years of combined experience of beekeeping development in Ethiopia and this makes us well-placed to deliver training, advice and consultancy services to a high standard. We approach beekeeping development through considering the three pillars to success: 

1. Technical beekeeping skills

We have very solid expertise in all beekeeping systems used in Ethiopia including local-style beekeeping, top-bar beekeeping and frame-hive beekeeping. Each system has different advantages and disadvantages and we understand the differing contexts where each system is most appropriate. We know that effective beekeeping development must build on local skills and knowledge and we understand that improved technical skills need to be selected and applied appropriately to make sure they are valid in any given context. We recognise that for small-scale beekeepers to be successful they need to know how to keep their bees healthy and well-cared for, and that when harvesting, sufficient honey must be left for the dearth period. Increase can be achieved through own swarms, catching wild swarms or through colony splitting. All are more or less important depending on the beekeepers’ interests and circumstances. The best way to maintain healthy bees is to ensure access to diverse and adequate nutrition, avoid over-crowded apiaries, keep apiaries clean, minimise exposure to agrochemicals and allow bees to exhibit their own social-immune behaviours 

2. Turning beekeeping into a business.

Beekeeping must be financially viable, sustainable and profitable from a beekeepers’ point of view, without requiring repeat re-injections of capital and expensive inputs. We teach beekeepers how to manage their beekeeping activity so they can earn a good profit and sustain and expand their enterprise. To this end we teach beekeepers how to make their own top-bar hives, so they can easily scale-up their enterprise without getting into debt. Making good business from beekeeping also requires a good understanding of the local market and the expectations of buyers, especially in terms of honey quality. Knowing how to harvest, handle and store honey without compromising its quality is a key part of the training we deliver. Diversification is also important and successful beekeeping entrepreneurs may also engage in colony multiplication and sale or the manufacture of inputs such as simple bee veils, top-bars or bee forage seedlings.  

3. Ensuring sustainable progress for a life-time of beekeeping

Once a beekeeper, always a beekeeper! We expect our students and learners to take up beekeeping and continue to learn and continue to improve. This means they must have a very solid understanding of the basics and be able to quickly build a sustainable business so that the rewards they gain motivate them to continue. The people we teach must be able to sustain their own beekeeping without relying on donor hand-outs and repeat injections of inputs. They need to form relationships with other beekeepers in their communities so they can share experiences, skills and knowledge. It is not possible for a new beekeepers to learn everything they need to know in a 4 day training course, and we make this plain. We impress upon all the people we train that they must be willing to continue with their learning throughout their beekeeping, they must observe their bees and ask other more experienced beekeepers to help them. Sustainable progress is essential.