Last Update 21:29
Wednesday, 13 November 2019

In Photos: The first edition of Egyptian Honey Festival kicks off in Cairo

Mirroring similar festivals held in locations around the world, Egypt sees its first honeybees festival, showcasing the health benefits of natural honey

Ghada Abdel-Kader, Thursday 17 Oct 2019
Egyptian Honey Festival
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It’s time for all honey lovers, children and the whole family, to gather together with beekeepers, honey farmers and exhibitors to celebrate and know more about the different natural honey types, such as clover, black seed, mountain sidr, wild blossom, citrus blossom and many others, besides bee products such as royal jelly, beeswax, bee gum, pollen grains, propolis, ginseng and beevenom.

Held under the joint auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Arab Economic Unity Council, the first edition of the Egyptian Honey Festival kicked off yesterday. It it being held in Merryland Park, Heliopolis and will run until 18 October. Admission is free for all visitors.

The opening was attended by the Egyptian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Mona Mehrez, Secretary-General of the Arab Economic Unity Council at the Arab League Ambassador Mohamed Al-Rabie, Vice-Chairman of Agriculture Bank of Egypt (ABE) Tamer Gomaa, and head of the Agriculture Syndicate Sayed Khalifa.

More than 55 exhibitors and manufacturers are selling organic and natural honey products. Exhibitors hail from across the Arab world, including Libya and Jordan. Visitors will be able to taste, buy and know more about the health benefits of different types of honey. Activities available for children include painting, drawing and playing games.

The festival aims at raising awareness about the importance of honey as a healthy natural sweetener. The festival is also considered a touristic, economic, environmental and health event.

Organiser of the festival Mahmoud Hassan told Ahram Online: “Egypt is one of the big countries in production of natural bee honey. It produced 30,000 tons per year. The Egyptian market consumes most of this honey production. Egypt exports only 1,500 tons annually.”

Many countries around the world hold annual honey festivals, including well-known festivals such as the California Honey Festival held in Woodland, the Streetsville Founders’ Bread and Honey Festival held since 1973 in the Canadian city of Mississauga, and the Russian Honey Festival in Moscow.

Hassan adds: “The Egyptian Honey Festival is promoting bee breeding and encouraging young beekeepers, in addition to underlining the health benefits for the human body and environment.”

Hassan continued: “Egyptian honey products are of the same high-quality as imported honey. And also sell at reasonable prices.”

Chairman of the Arab Beekeepers Union Fathi El-Beheiry said: “We started working on the festival since the beginning of the year. The Egyptian Honey Festival will be an annual event. Next year, there will be a special pavilion for Arab countries' bee honey products.”

One of the exhibitors and bee expert Dr Warda Fathi completed her Masters and PhD at Al-Arish University on how to use bee products in cosmetics and skincare.

Fathi gave a workshop on the amazing results honey products can have on the skin.

Fathi said: “Nowadays, diseases such as skin cancer, eczema, and rashes increased due to chemical compounds in beauty products.” In contrast, “Natural honey products repair and rejuvenate your skin, leaving it healthy and energised.”

Fathi's Facebook page, named ‘Bees Care,’ focuses on honey-based beauty products such as facial scrubs, facial masks, anti-ageing creams, and moisturising day and night creams.

(Photo: Ghada abdel-Kader)
(Photo: Ghada abdel-Kader)

(Photo: Ghada abdel-Kader)
(Photo: Ghada abdel-Kader)

The Young Beekeeper Programme is one of the activities of the festival. The programme explains the basics of beekeeping and imparts the necessary knowledge for the production of honey in a small apiary. Professional trainers accredited with the Arab Beekeepers Union are handling instruction in the day-long programme, including how to create and operate a beekeeping business, queen rearing, and essential beekeeper equipment such as the protective clothing needed.

Honeybee expert and consultant Ali Mohamed Belkasi explained: “The programme is very useful for kids and youth to introduce them to the honeybees industry and its economic returns.”

Egypt has an international beekeeping training centre in Dokki, Giza. Belkasi added: “Those interested can also take several courses and workshops there.”

Meanwhile, a booth for the Agriculture Bank of Egypt (ABE) offered soft loans to youth beginning work in the honeybees industry. ABE supports those who want to start businesses and finance their projects.

(Photo: Ghada abdel-Kader)
(Photo: Ghada abdel-Kader)

(Photo: Ghada abdel-Kader)
(Photo: Ghada abdel-Kader)

(Photo: Ghada abdel-Kader)
(Photo: Ghada abdel-Kader)

(Photo: Ghada abdel-Kader)
(Photo: Ghada abdel-Kader)

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