The Team

The Drakensberg Honey Products Team

From left: Mom Helen, Ayanda, Thembe, Dr Jens, Dad Henry, Daughter Charmaine, wife Marelize, Deon the boss, Dr Rita, Precious

Deon’s story 

Deon Stewart - Owner

After moving from the city and a salary-driven stressful job , to a small farm in the magnificent Drakensberg area, my yearning to be more a part of nature, prompted me to start keeping honey bees (Apis mellifera). The more I worked with these miraculous creatures, the more I marvelled at them as they changed my outlook on humans and life. We can learn so much from them. At first it was all about collecting pure raw honey, always ensuring to leave behind enough for the highly respected bees. But soon the yearning to be creative led to our whole family and staff taking to the kitchen to make unique honey products for consumption.

We marketed from our fledgling country farm stall, run by my lovely wife Marelize .

Inevitably our stall became known as Scrumpy Jack’s.

Scrumpy Jack's

I began offering presentations about  bees, which included observing active bees in a glass hive.

Folk are being made aware of the value of bees in our world, their endangered survival and knowledge of these amazing little creatures.

Currently a larger training centre is planned, where local jobless people will be taught to be bee keepers and earn an income while increasing  bee populations and their products. Funding is being sought.

In no time, we were eager to make medicinal products from another substance the bees make to disinfect and protect their hives i.e Propolis.  We sought assistance  from specialists who happened to live close to us. So our team grew with the additions of Dr Jens Jacobsen (an earth scientist) and wife Dr Rita Jacobsen (a biological scientist).


The story of husband and wife team  Dr. Jens & Dr. Rita Jacobsen.

Dr. Rita Jacobsen

Dr. Rita

Member of The Royal Society of South Africa

PhD (Wits)
M.Phil (Rhod)

Thirty nine years experience in experimental research procedures, encompassing

  • water,
  • tissue culture
  • microbiological parameters
  • development of medicinal products sourced from bees and
  • nutraceuticals sourced from chili

Dr Jens JacobsenDr. Jens

Professional natural scientist Pr. Sci. Nat. Reg. No. 4 00017/90

PhD (Wits)
MSc (Wits)
BSc honours (Wits)

Senior lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand from 1971 to 1978.
Thirty eight years experience as consultant in hydro-geology, economic geology metallurgy and geochemistry.
Ten years assisting with development of medicinal products from bees and chili.

In 1996, these two experienced scientists who had both lost their spouses to cancer, got married and settled in the Drakensberg mountains to embark on private research in various fields.

Jens is an earth scientist previously having lectured Geology at The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.  He has experience in hydrology and geochemistry. Rita has been involved in biological research all her working life, incorporating plant physiology and tissue culture, but always with the motive of improving the quality of life for people.

They set up a private analytical laboratory at their residence in Cathkin Park area and achieved their first goal of helping uplift water quality  for people without municipal treated water.

Their most recent ventures have been in the fields of research and development of products derived from chili and bees, with medicinal and culinary properties.

The inspiration of seeing possibilities for people suffering from ailments, pain, lack of confidence, and self-esteem fuelled the vision of Nature’s way of improved  health and well being. We expanded from making only edible honey products to using bees’ Propolis to make medicinal products These include the amazing healing cream (Propolis balm), the highly effective PAINEEZER ointment applied with a roll-on applicator and our prized Propolis tincture taken for a myriad of  health reasons.

Drakensberg Honey Products

All are sourced from the 100 million years old factory of the bees.

With that, “Drakensberg Bee Products” was born.

Fast forward, we’re making all our hand crafted organic products from our kitchens and laboratories in the pristine Drakensberg mountains. Now walk with us on our journey towards Natures way to health, hygiene, love, and compassion!

Categories: The Team