Hive Mind Mead & Brew Co Launch Zambian Forest Honey Mead.


Monmouthshire-based Hive Mind Mead & Brew Co has launched a new mead made with Zambian honey in collaboration with the charity Bees for Development.

Prepared to the same recipe as Hive Mind’s Traditional Mead, which recently won the Great Taste Golden Fork award for Wales, the new mead uses organic Zambian Forest honey, giving the drink a distinct amber color and a unique flavor profile with complex herbal and spiced notes. The illustration for the bottle label reflects the Zambian forest beekeeping style and has been designed by a Zambian-Irish illustrator Aislinn Finnegan.

As well as supporting beekeepers in Zambia by purchasing the honey, ten percent of profits from sales of the new mead will be donated to Bees for Development by Hive Mind.

Bees for Development works globally to promote sustainable beekeeping to combat poverty, build resilient livelihoods, and benefit biodiversity. The charity uses honey bees to enable people to make a living by working with nature, and harvesting honey and beeswax while helping to preserve biodiversity.

The Zambian Forest Honey Mead was launched last week at an event to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Bees for Development in its hometown of Monmouth.


Kit Newell, co-founder of Hive Mind, said: “We are pleased to be supporting Bees for Development in this efficient way, demonstrating the success of their model of creating viable small businesses and new access to markets through beekeeping and honey production.

“We are working with them to secure a long-term supply partnership and plan for this to become part of our core traditional mead range beyond this initial bottling.

“People often ask us when and how to drink mead and this new mead creates some new opportunities for matching with food and mixers.

“With its darker color and flavor profile, the Zambian mead is a great alternative for the port as a sweet/smokey accompaniment with dessert or cheese. We’re also excited by the options a more complex, spicy flavor profile presents as an alternative to dark and spiced rums in mixed drinks and cocktails,” he said.

Jenny Handley, head of comms and fundraising, at Bees for Development, said: “Beekeeping is low cost, sustainable, and has the greatest effect on those who have the very least. Our charity shares beekeeping skills with people in the poorest communities of the world, giving them a reliable income for life.

“We’re delighted to be celebrating our 30th anniversary with the launch of this great new product which demonstrates so well the success of this approach in building these sustainable businesses.”

Hive Mind Zambian Mead is available in a 70cl bottle at 14.5 percent ABV and retails for £30 RRP. It is sold online at, at The Bee Shop in Monmouth, and through independent retailers via distribution from the Craft Drink Co.

From its meadery and taproom in Caldicot, Hive Mind’s beekeeping brothers Kit and Matt Newell brew sparkling and traditional mead and a range of honey beers. They won the 2023 Golden Fork Award for Wales with their Traditional Mead.

All of the company’s mead is made with natural ingredients and uses British honey (and now Zambian honey too), including honey from its hives in the Wye Valley, where its beekeeping supports local biodiversity, habitat conservation, and important pollinator populations.

Bees for Development Bees for Development was founded in 1993 by Dr Nicola Bradbear, who continues as chief executive. The Queen, a former Duchess of Cornwall, became the charity’s president in 2020.


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