Reviewing bee keeping in the vast miombo zone of central Africa, this paper noted that hunting of honey from feral hives is associated with indiscriminate burning, but bee keeping by contrast promoted woodland protection. Bee keepers were individuals with high social status and specialist knowledge, including a profound understanding of local tree ecology. Most hive products (honey, wax and the brood) were for subsistence and barter. The author calculated that bee keeping required a relatively small quantity of woodland materials (wood and fibre) and was in fact more profitable than managing miombo woodlands for timber supply.
Franz Ulrich Fischer