South Africa’s bees are dying. This woman has a plan to save them


Most people feel nervous at the sound of bees. An ominous buzz is cause for instant anxiety. The sudden flash of black and yellow sets off panicked shrieks and flailing arms. Portia Morudi, however, doesn’t flinch. And she doesn’t think anyone should. In fact, she believes that bees should be seen as useful contributors to society, not pests.

Responsible for the pollination of 70 percent of the world’s top human food crops, which account for 90 percent of our nutrition, the little creatures are crucial to the stability of society. Ironically, it is often farmers who get fed up with them to the point of smoking them out. Morudi’s grandfather pointed this out to her when she was young. He encouraged the family not to attack the hives on their farm and instead attend beekeeping lessons, because effectively-maintained bee populations promote better crops. Now a social entrepreneur, Morudi is spreading her knowledge about keeping bees around the Northern Cape.

And the farmers who have taken notice have reaped the rewards, turning over their richest yields in years. But Morudi’s influence doesn’t stop there. As a further aid to the farms, she started The Village Market, a farmstall through which she purchases and sells fresh local produce. Her efforts to uplift the area have been comprehensive, providing the community with both the knowledge and access to build better lives for themselves. By pointing out the benefits of bees, Morudi has ensured both the safety of these creatures and the prosperity of the land they inhabit.