Becoming a bee master

Becoming a bee master

The Southern Africa Livelihoods Project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

Mbuso Fazudke remembers loving agriculture even as a kid, but he probably never expected to one day become known as the bee master.


Love of bees

Mbuso lives in Lushikishini village in rural Eswatini (Swaziland). His farm is similar in size and the crops he farms are like those his neighbours grow, but what sets him apart is the large number of flowering plants and his 50 beehives scattered across his property. 

This year Mbuso sold 1,800 kilograms of honey and honeycomb and with the income has been able to purchase a number of helpful items.

“I bought a tablet. The second thing I bought was protective clothing for myself from Manzini and I'm taking my money I want to buy now a tractor to use in my conservation agriculture work."

- Mbuso Fazudke, bee master

Becoming a bee master

Cultivating new bee farmers

In 2017, the World Vision Australia and Australian Aid funded Southern Africa Livelihood Project (SALP) began working with Mbuso and a group of interested bee farmers in Lushikishini Village. SALP has been providing training as well as protective clothing and bee boxes to the new bee farmers.

As the group gathered to learn how to harvest honey and honeycomb, the most observant one among them was high school student Philani Mabuza. During those initial training sessions, Philani was confident in his ability to balance his school work and his beekeeping. Mbuso also realised early on how interested 20-year-old Philani was. “Philani is one of the fast learning members.”


Six months later

On a cold foggy morning Philani greets Mbuso who has come to check on Philani’s new bee colony. The pair, along with Philani’s mother Dudu, walk down to the nine hives he received from SALP.

Philani checks on his two new colonies and listens keenly as Mbuso offers him advice.

Philani comes from a family of farmers and realises his future will most likely be taking over the family’s land. Considering his future as a farmer, Philani is eager to follow in Mbuso’s footsteps as he has seen how a person can earn income just from bees.

“The reason why I'm interested in bees is because I love bees, and bees are a source of income, and their products, they act like medicine because when you are sick, they heal a person.”

- Mabuza, apprentice beekeeper


Working together

Mbuso is keen to see his group members get active colonies in their new beehives so that collectively they can sell to more customers.

“Even Swaziland is not having enough honey to feed itself. I have a market for honeycomb but I don't fully supply it. So as we come together, the group and I will be able just to meet that demand of the farmers' markets in Manzini. You need the many hands so that you can achieve that goal.”

Philani is eager to follow in the footsteps of Lushikishini Bee Keepers group leader Mbuso and become a “bee master”.

“In the next year, I would like to have more bee colonies and I would like to harvest my honey. With the colonies I have now next year I will able to divide them and make other colonies and I will put them in my bee boxes.”


The Southern Africa Livelihood Project is supporting 52 groups. There are over 1,400 direct participants and more than 8,000 people will benefit from their businesses.

See more stories of how World Vision is growing livelihoods in Southern Africa.