Egypt’s leading beekeeping village struggles to keep business buzzing

Beekeeping hive frame
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hessat Shabshir, an Egyptian village in the Nile Delta of Gharbia, is known for its beekeeping and honey industries. However, residents of the area say they are struggling to stay in business amid growing challenges of rising production costs and climate change.

The village, located between Tanta and Mahla cities, has been known for its beekeeping since the 1940s.

Yet locals say climate change and rising temperatures have affected the main crops needed for beekeeping, like clover and citrus fruits.

Fouad Badran, a local beekeeping company owner says other factors like the increasing costs for production cycles have driven away producers.

“The profession is in danger of extinction,” he added.

Still, most of the residents of Hessat Shabshir Village work in the beekeeping business, according to Badran.

Badran and his brother Farouk Badran, who own a beekeeping and honey production factory, are among the top producers in the village.

The two brothers hope to develop the industry and expand its exports.

“We started three or four years ago to expand more in the foreign market, whether the Arab market or the European market. Egyptian honey began to occupy a very good position, honey factory owner,” said Badran.

Egypt is one of the world’s leading exporters of live bee packages, with nearly 1.3 million packages shipped annually, according to the latest statistics published in 2022 by Egypt’s State Information Service.

The UN designated 20 May as World Bee Day, to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face, and their contribution to sustainable development.