Lowore, Janet (2021) Forest beekeeping in Zambia: Analysing the nexus of sustainable forest management and commercial honey trade. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The need to achieve human development without harming the natural systems on
which all life depends, is one of the greatest challenges of our times. The aim of this
research is to deploy and develop social-ecological systems thinking to a miombo
forest landscape in north west Zambia where thousands of people make a living from
forest beekeeping. There exists significant critique about whether trade in non-timber
forest products (NTFPs) can help deliver the dual goals of poverty alleviation and
forest maintenance. Trade in forest honey appears to be an exceptional case, yet
inadequately studied. This research fills a gap in understanding about the link
between forest honey trade and forest maintenance. Honey trade is already
commercialised in north west Zambia and so provides a case study scenario within
which to ask, Given that the market for honey is assured, do beekeepers maintain
forests’? Case study methodology found that trade is driving an increase in forest
beekeeping, with income invested in education, in farming and as capital for other
enterprises. Self-reported measures of economic wellbeing showed beekeepers to be
slightly better off than non-beekeepers. Beekeepers negotiate de facto rights to hive
sites and engage in ‘early burning’ to mitigate potential damage to flowers, bees and
trees caused by dry season fires. Beekeepers apply this forest protection tool over
thousands of hectares of forest. Beekeepers do not manage forests using scientific
principles of inventory and planning, and features of a common-property
management regime are largely absent. The study reveals entities and components of
a forest beekeeping livelisystem – a complex, knowledge rich system where ecological
elements and human elements are intricately connected in a robust social-ecological
system The system is driven by trade, is productive and works with minimal external
costs. The role beekeepers play in maintaining this forest system must be
acknowledged and supported by development planners, local authorities and leaders
and consumers who buy the honey.

FINAL THESIS - Lowore.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (8MB) | Preview


Downloads per month over past year

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email