Hive Ecosystems is part of the Hive Energy clean futures group. The circular economy team was established in 2021 in South Africa. A year later, in 2022, the team secured the initial 7,307 hectares of farmland for its land transformation project in the Albany Thicket.
The aim of the project is to restore areas of land which have been degraded by livestock and intensive farming, depleting carbon, nitrogen and minerals from the soil. In coming years, the team will be planting around 9 million spekboom plants across the land to restore the area and eventually sequester carbon.
Over the past year, the Hive Ecosystems team has appointed three new members to support day to day operations and undertake essential assignments for the project.
Richard Strydom – Farm Manager
Richard was born and grew up on the East Rand of Johannesburg. He attended school in Bloemfontein and subsequently completed his Financial Degree.
As a young adult, Richard worked in the banking sector but then decided to make a complete career change and enter the field of nature conservation. He has now been in the industry for 13 years and during that time has learnt a tremendous amount about mixed farming practices, as this has been his focus in the past 6 years.
When Hive bought the farms for spekboom and biodiversity restoration, Richard was the existing Farm Manager. As Hive Ecosystems kicked off the project, Richard was given the option to stay on, which he duly did as he felt the project was something new and fresh, a challenge to take on. Richard felt that it was an opportunity to attain a wealth of knowledge about new fields.
Nicholas C. Galuszynski (PhD) – Restoration ecologist
Having completed his PhD in 2019, Nicholas has been actively involved in biodiversity management and ecological restoration since. He has published a number of scientific journal articles focusing specifically on the restoration of succulent thicket ecosystems using spekboom (P. afra) and has applied adaptive management principles to implement large scale restoration efforts in the past.
Nicholas is rapidly becoming a leading voice in thicket ecology and restoration, and is passionate about developing, implementing, and monitoring restoration projects.
Abongile Leratholi – Production manager
Abongile has had a long-standing passion for the natural world and was the chairman of his high school’s conservation and environmental club.
Following the completion of his Degree in Engineering, he has worked in a range of retail and production spaces, but actively contributed to collecting ecological data for a number of projects at these times.
Abongile joined Hive Ecosystems to assist in collecting data. His value to the team was quickly realised and he now fills the position of Production Manager. He is passionate about developing efficient systems and hopes to apply these skills to achieve Hive Ecosystems planting targets.