Amber-colored, caramelly, and 100 percent raw, Zambezi Forest Organic Honey comes from one of the world’s highest-density wild bee colonies, located at the source of the Zambezi River in a remote area in northwest Zambia. The bees feed on nectar from flowering trees found deep within the government-owned wild forests (naturally free of pesticides) that blanket the region, producing a rich honey that 5,000 beekeepers then harvest using traditional methods. Former US Peace Corps volunteers (now Ohio residents) Jenny and Keith Gelber started the business to help improve the lives of Zambian farmers and stop the spread of deforestation. The logging-free area had been drawing intense interest from foreign timber companies, but once the government realized the earning potential of honey production, it left the forests intact. In addition to providing employment in poor communities, the Gelbers also donate a percentage of Zambezi’s proceeds to fund school scholarships, small-business development, and training in sustainable agroforestry. What a sweet deal. 

Story by Kristine Hansen. This article originally appeared in Plenty in August 2008.

Copyright Environ Press 2008.