The coronavirus pandemic has had a negative impact on people and businesses. But, there are some entrepreneurs whose businesses are beginning to flourish as a result of the pandemic.
One of these sectors is bee keeping, which has recently seen a rapid increase in demand for honey. People use honey to fortify their immune system.
South Africa imports more than 80% of its honey, despite an existence of local bee farmers. And, there is still very few women participants in the industry. Tumi Mobu is one of them. She quit her job in the food industry to join apiculture. Although her bee harvesting business was not doing so well, the outbreak of the coronavirus changed all that. As people become more health conscious – the demand for honey has increased and Mobu’s business started to grow.
“I have established the exponential growth in the sales of honey during this pandemic. People starting to understand the symptoms of COVID, which are flu like symptoms. Trying by all means to stay organic; trying to stay with the natural produce to combat the pandemic. So, I have been growing from leaps and bounds,” Mobu says.
Although her subsistence bee farming business is relatively small, she aims to grow and become fully commercial as a bee farmer and supplier.
“I see myself having my own factory. Being called a commercial bee keeper at that moment. Having my own produce or production plan that is where I see myself. Employing a lot of people and having contributed to a healthy South Africa.”
Despite her business’ relatively small size, her list of customers is growing steadily. She is now getting orders from across the country. In her own little way, she says, she is also playing a positive role in the fight against COVID-19 while also making a profit.