Adequate forage availability coupled with favorable and diversified agro-climatic conditions of Ethiopia creates environmental conditions conducive to the growth of over 7000 species of flowering plants, which have supported the existence of a large number of bee colonies in the country. Ethiopia’s wide climatic and geographical variability has endowed the country with diverse and unique flowering plants, thus making it highly suitable for sustaining a large number of bee colonies and the long-established practice of beekeeping. Beekeeping is one of the most important livestock subsectors that contribute to the improvement of the livelihoods of people in many countries. It is also one of the major areas of intervention for poverty alleviation in many developing countries as it provides nutritional, income-generating, and ecological security to rural communities. Despite the long tradition of beekeeping in Ethiopia, having the highest bee density, and being the leading honey producer as well as one of the largest beeswax exporting countries in Africa, the products obtained from the subsector were still low as compared to the potential of the country.
The honey sector is one of the few sectors that had the most inclusive ability to achieve transformation and growth across all categories because of its large resource base and low entry barriers. There are several factors for Ethiopia to be famous in apicultural recourses, this is mainly due to its flora highly supporting foraging bees, the presence of a large quantity of honeybee population, ample fresh water, suitable weather and geographical features, the presence of a large number of native farmers and others engaged in the development and management of apiculture for many centuries. The country’s agro-ecological features have also contributed to the growth and propagation of a large population of various plant species to exist, which, in turn, creates favorable living conditions for all living things, including honeybees. Beekeeping or apiculture is an important non-farm activity that is highly complementary to agricultural and horticultural production. The overall honeybee colonies present in Ethiopia are estimated to be over 10 million, endowing the country with good honey production potential with the increasing trend of expansion.