Maa Honey is a social enterprise established by The Maa Trust as a sustainable alternative livelihood to generate income for Maasai families. Beekeeping is a traditional pastime of the Maasai, especially young men. The pure organic acacia honey produced in the Mara is a beautiful dark golden colour free of any pesticides or additives.
Beekeeping addresses both climate change adaptation and mitigation. Pastoralism, the dominant livelihood of the Maasai people, is very climate sensitive therefore livelihood diversification can cushion climate-shocks and aid adaptation. As negative climate impacts increase, bringing cascading economic and social impacts, training Maasai in alternative sustainable livelihoods is essential to build resilience to climate change and aid both empowerment and economic development. In addition, seeing direct benefits from trees, through the production of pollen needed for honey, will discourage deforestation and encourage tree planting. This aids climate change mitigation. The demand for pure organic honey far outweighs current supplies, leading to a great potential for beekeeping to become an alternative source of livelihood and income for interested community members.
Maa Honey is taking a new approach in 2022, thanks to support from GIZ. A broad based survey of beekeeping and its challenges in the Maasai Mara Ecosystem identified training and market as the greatest challenges that beekeepers are facing, and so the project has been redesigned to address these two areas.
The beekeeping trainer and coordinator is overseeing a team of six beekeeping mentors geographically spread across the Maasai Mara ecosystem. Following intensive training, these mentors provide ongoing support and training to 90 beekeepers. Once the honey is ready to harvest, The Maa Trust is buying it directly from the bee farmers at premium prices, packaging and selling on to tourism camps and tourists visiting the Maasai Mara.
By the Numbers
target goal of beehives refurbished and relocated inside the conservancy.
members of Maa Honey.
of profits go to the ladies owning the hives.