Africa-Press – Botswana. Selebi Phikwe through the landmark Selebi Phikwe Citrus Project and the proliferation of ornamental plants led by ordinary folk is distinctively positioned to harness the potential of bee by-products.

Speaking during World Bee Day Commemoration in Selebi Phikwe on Saturday, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry Ms Beauty Manake emphasised need to explore the remarkable economic opportunities presented by bee-related products and their value chain.

Such products include honey, bee wax, royal jelly, propolis and bee pollen.

“Each product offers significant value addition opportunities and has diverse applications in industries such as food and beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and health supplements,” she said.

Ms Manake said the goal of her ministry was to ensure that local honey producers met international standards thereby increasing their competitiveness in the global market.

The assistant minister said products such as beeswax was a key ingredient in candles, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals adding…“by supporting small and medium enterprises in the beeswax processing industry we can create jobs and stimulate local economies.”

She urged all stakeholders to invest in research and development to innovate new applications which would enhance the value chain and open up new markets as well as promote sustainable harvesting practices.

Ms Manake also said doing so would ensure the purity of bee pollen which would help the country tap into the growing health and wellness market worldwide.

To fully exploit the potential of bee by-products, Ms Manake said there was need to focus on strengthening the entire value chain which involved providing training for beekeepers on best practices, disease management and sustainable harvesting techniques.

These includes investing in research and development to improve product quality, develop new applications and increase efficiency in production process.

She added that there was also need to establish stringent quality control measures and obtain international certificates for all products to meet global standards

Ms Manake also talked about facilitating access to international markets through trade agreements, participation in international fairs and strategic marketing campaigns.

In addition, Ms Manake said bees were essential pollinators contributing to the growth of flowers, fruits and vegetables.

“This makes our responsibility to protect and promote bee populations not only an environmental concern but also an economic imperative,” she said. The day was held under the theme: Bee Engaged Youth.

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