East African Lowland Honey Bee: Farming Today

For generations, the East African lowland honey bee has been a beloved and essential part of farming for many countries in central, eastern, and southern Africa. Farmers are able to rely on these bees to pollinate their crops as well as supply them with high-quality honey from beehives tucked away in forests or fields. The hardworking members of the hive have recently become one of the most important tools that farmers can use to help secure their future success. With an understanding how this species helps farms thrive in difficult times, you’ll come to appreciate its vital role for sustainable agriculture across the region. In this blog post we’ll dive into more detail about what makes these bees so unique and why they are such powerful agricultural allies!

History & Origin

The East African Lowland Honey Bee is a subspecies of the western honey bee that has its native range in central, southern and eastern Africa. This species of honey bee has had an expansive history, tracing its origins back to ancient times where it was first used for honey harvesting. In modern times, it is mostly found in parts of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania and Ivory Coast. While at the more southern parts of their distribution the East African Lowland Honey Bee is replaced by the Cape Honey Bee. Nonetheless, this unique species has had an integral role in our world’s ecology and continuing evolution of pollination strategies.


The East African Lowland Honey Bee is renowned for its remarkable characteristics. Unlike the Cape honey bee, which is found in the southern extreme, this subspecies of the western honey bee native to central, southern and eastern Africa is distinguished by its synergistic nature. This productive combination of bees allows them to efficiently manage hive resources to support up to sixty-thousand individuals. Moreover, this species can swarm more than six times a year in ideal circumstances and produce surplus of honey from flowers that other bees may not be able to access easily due to their seemingly never-ending search patterns. These unique characteristics make it one of the most effective pollinators around!


The East African Lowland Honey Bee feeds on nectar from various sources and makes use of different floral resources as they move around. Depending on their geographic location, they may collect nectar from trees, shrubs, or herbs. Interestingly, they also have been noted to take some of the pollen back to their colonies without being exposed to flower oils, likely as a way to ensure that the colony has enough food during periods of low flower activity. This trait is so beneficial that colonies with worker bees who can do this tend to survive most of the time in drier climates, whereas other colonies without those workers may not be able to sustain itself throughout drought periods.


The East African Lowland Honey Bee has many uses, as it is a highly versatile species of bee. It can be found in central, southern and eastern Africa, and is known to produce honey in various different climates. This particular species of honey bee is particularly popular among farmers who use its versatile nature to get favorable results. The East African Lowland Honey Bee can adjust quite well to changes in climate both locally and seasonally, making the honey it produces high-quality all year round. Additionally, due to its ability to stay healthy even when exposed to certain diseases that plague other hive populations, this type of honey bee proves to be an invaluable asset for those wanting a dependable source of productivity and honey yield.

Special Feature

The East African Lowland Honey Bee is a remarkable subspecies of the western honey bee that has adapted to live in the challenging climates of East Africa. Despite the difficulties of surviving and flourishing in the region, this bee species is hardy and highly productive. Furthermore, due to their efficiency at gathering nectar, they have been found to have higher amounts of honey than their counterparts in other parts of the world. With their impressive ability to survive and thrive in such harsh conditions, it can be said that these bees are truly a special feature of the East African environment.

The benefits of keeping East African Lowland Honey Bees

Keeping East African Lowland Honey Bees on your farm can be a great way to increase both the quantity and quality of honey produced. These bees are native to East, Central, and Southern Africa and have been successfully domesticated for centuries. Lowland Honey Bees produce exceptional honey thanks to their larger body size, sturdy wings, and their capability for nectar collecting and storing a larger volume. Moreover, they require less intensive care than other bee subspecies which makes them economical to maintain in addition to the prized honey they offer. Overall, they are an excellent choice for cheaper, higher-grade honey that requires less effort.

Tips for starting a successful beekeeping program

Beekeeping offers the unique opportunity to observe and support an essential creature, not to mention the joy of tasting your own honey. To ensure a successful beekeeping outcome, selecting the right honey bee subspecies is essential. For those interested in a species found in East African countries such as Kenya and Tanzania, consider cultivating the East African Lowland Honey Bee. This subspecies has unique adaptations that make it more suitable for surviving and thriving in these regions; they also produce delicate, delicious honey! With proper hive management techniques and appropriate safety precautions, beekeeping with this species can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

The importance of understanding

The East African Lowland Honey Bee is a subspecies of the Western Honey Bee, and these bees are native to many African countries. When it comes to keeping these bees, understanding the local climate and conditions is essential, as they require certain environmental factors in order to thrive. These include warmth and humidity levels that may vary depending on the region in which they are kept, as well as ample vegetation such as flowers and flowering crops for nectar sources. Keeping an eye on the seasonality of their home environment is also important, since this can affect when flowers bloom or when there may be less forage material available for them. It may even be necessary to supplement the natural resources with supplemental feeders. Understanding the nuances of the local climate and conditions is critical for successfully keeping East African Lowland Honey Bees and ensuring their wellbeing.

Honey production

The East African lowland honey bee is a unique subspecies of the western honey bee, and has some distinct characteristics that can be taken advantage of by beekeepers looking to maximize their honey production. Beekeepers must make sure they understand the traits and behaviors of this species in order to develop successful strategies for hive management. Different beekeeping objectives require different approaches, so it is important to choose the right strategy that takes into account both seasonal changes and the specific needs of this bee species. With careful consideration and tailoring of various practices, success with the East African lowland honey bee can be achieved and large amounts of delicious honey can be harvested.

How to protect your hive from predators and disease

The East African Lowland Honey Bee is a resilient subspecies of the Western honey bee found across central, southern, and eastern Africa. However, with an increase in predators and disease spread through migratory poultry and livestock activities, it is important to take steps to protect your hive from such risks. With effective monitoring and ample protection in place, you can ensure that your hives are well-protected against common threats such as tracheal mites, varroa mites, wax moths, and other detrimental insects. By striking a proper balance between healthy environment conditions and proper communications with local authorities to prevent unauthorized access to your hives, you can help protect your hive from unwanted predators or disease-causing organisms.


Are East African bees aggressive?

East African bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) are known to be particularly aggressive when they perceive a threat. This is mainly due to their highly defensive hive structure, which encourages group cohesion and defensive posturing in the event of an attack or perceived danger.

Are African honey bees aggressive?

Yes, African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) are quite aggressive compared to other bee species. They are more likely to attack intruders than regular European honey bees (Apis mellifera). Africanized honey bees tend to swarm quickly when they feel threatened and can pursue an intruder for over a quarter of a mile before returning to the hive. These swarms may contain thousands of individual bees and will sting multiple times if disturbed.

What are characteristics of the Africanized honey bee?

The Africanized honey bee (Apis mellifera scutellata) is a hybrid of the western honey bee, which originated in Europe and Africa. The Africanized honey bee was accidentally introduced to South and Central America in 1956 by a Brazilian biologist, who had imported several queen bees from southern Africa. Since then, these bees have spread throughout the region and can now be found as far north as the US-Mexico border.


The East African Lowland Honey Bee is a noble species and an incredible asset to the environment. It produces high-quality honey, is adept at pollination and can help protect farms against pests. This honey bee has proven itself as beneficiary more than once in its long history of existence. In addition, understanding the local climate and conditions is essential when keeping this species of honey bee, as well as implementing strategies to combat predators and disease. By taking these precautions and following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can start your own successful beekeeping program with East African Lowland Honey Bees and reap all of the amazing benefits that accompany it. Plus, with a bit of hard work and dedication there will be sweet rewards ahead—both literally and figuratively!

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