Beekeeping or apiculture is the maintenance and management of honeybee colonies. They produce byproducts such as honey, bee wax, pollen, bee venom, and more. They are used to serve as flower and fruit pollinators. Beekeeping is a common practice that may be found anywhere from large or small cities to woodlands and deserts. Honeybees are wild creatures, however, the artificial domicile is referred to as beehives.
Consequently, beekeeping can provide substantial benefits to the farming community, so farmers should consider starting this supplemental agricultural enterprise in order to make good money.
How to start a Beehive and thrive as a beekeeper in 7 steps
Farmers income from beekeeping is about Rs 3 crore per year. Today, many people around the nation are making money from beekeeping with the yield of 40 kg per box. Most of the farmers have started bee farming as a side business or converting themselves into full time beekeepers. Some of the steps of starting a beekeeping business include:
Before laying your hands on the bee business. Beekeeping can be challenging which requires great knowledge of bees, their types, and many more. How successful you are depends on your knowledge of the hive’s castes (the queen honey bee, the workers, and the drones), their functions, the effects of the environment, and the pests and diseases they can and will meet. Enroll in a course on beginner beekeeping. Peruse a few books. You can also learn the best about bees and their farming in the guide to honey bee farming course offered by ffreedom.
Register for the bee journals. Learning new things is a habit you should develop right away because it’s a hobby that’s constantly changing and has challenges that change quickly.
Select the location
One of the most challenging considerations a novice beekeeper must make is where to locate a beehive apiary. It can easily be the difference between having robust or suffering hives, just as guiding livestock to green pastures.
Bees should be kept at a place which has right amount of sunlight. However, you should remember that sunlight makes them happier, that does not mean they are more productive there. They require a calm and cool place where they can be productive. Make sure the ground underneath the setup is always kept dry. You should use a beehive stand to set the box on. Ensure a good source of water for the bees to drink.
Avoid putting the bees on hilly areas as they may result in an upward wind draught entering the colonies.
Get your Equipment
The hive’s parts, safety clothing, a smoker, a hive tool, and the tools required to manage the honey production are the essential items you’ll need.
Place a bee order
When ordering bees in the winter, most bee stores run out of stock. Only so many bees can be distributed! Local bee stores allow customers to order bee packages. Your state university or extension office can help you find one if you don’t know where it is in your neighbourhood.
Know the number of bees you need
If you are someone who is getting started with the beekeeping business, start with two hives. This will give you a comparison and contrast point of reference for the duration of the beekeeping season. With two hives, you’ll undoubtedly notice differences even if you don’t yet have the experience to recognise when something is wrong. When that happens, seek your mentor’s help and ask for advice. Remember that over 40% of beehives kept by beekeepers failed to make it through the year.
Set up the beehive
After learning about bees and beekeeping, you will know what spot is the best for your hive setup. This needs to be done carefully as the hive will be set up for a long time and it will be difficult to move it later. After that, make sure your queen is still alive and in good condition because a hive without a queen will not survive.
What are the Major Benefits that Come with Being a Beekeeper?
You get Honey
Honey is the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions beekeeping. The most frequently used beehive byproduct is honey. Nothing beats collecting your own honey. You’ll quickly realise that store-bought honey is incomparable to locally produced, recently gathered honey.
Additionally, honey is healthy. Actually, it is employed both as a meal and a medication. Antioxidants included in honey help lower the risk of stroke and heart attack. Consuming honey may also lower blood pressure. Moreover, a healthy colony generates 60-80 pounds of usable honey every year. Selling it can bring you a fair amount of sum.
Become a community member
You can learn from people who share your enthusiasm for bees when you start keeping hives. You can learn a lot about honey bee maintenance from your fellow beekeepers. Pollinators like honey bees are useful, but it is unclear how long they will survive. Keeping bees can provide you with a means of ensuring the availability of pollinators for future generations as honey bee and wild bee populations have encountered significant difficulties and threats in recent years.
You may educate people about the value of bees to all of our lives by being a member of the beekeeping community. Start a beekeeping club in your neighbourhood, promote pollinator health conversations, and invite others to come see how bees are kept; you might even encourage others to take up the hobby!
What Kind of Profit Can You Expect From Beekeeping?
The number of hives you have and the amount of honey you produce determine how much money you can make from beekeeping.
The amount of time you have available, the weather, where you live, and your level of beekeeping expertise are just a few of the other variables that might influence your financial success.
The greatest strategies for you to make money through beekeeping will depend on your experimentation.
In order to get a good income, you’ll probably need to diversify and combine a variety of various bee products and services.
You may even land a full-time job as a beekeeper on a bee farm as you develop knowledge and experience, which will open up more options for you to make money.
Support of government
The National Bee Board (NBB) and NABARD have developed funding plans for the Indian beekeeping industry. They additionally support women’s employment in this field. You can browse the website or go to the local National Bee Board office to learn more. Let us inform you that the government provides 80 to 85% of the cost of beekeeping subsidies. Starting this business offers you benefits.
How much can you make by bee business
Raw honey is currently sold for between Rs. 150 and Rs. 200 per kilogramme, so if you can produce even 1000 kg of honey per year on average, you may easily earn Rs. 2 lakh.
NOTE: This is typical statistics; you might only generate 1000 kg of honey, but after a few years of operating this business, you could earn crores of rupees.
Homesteaders who wish to boost their food garden output and make money may consider beekeeping. Take it slow, learn the craft, and keep an open mind regarding possible business opportunities. Investigate all lucrative beekeeping chances that present themselves. The secret to profitable beekeeping is having a well-rounded strategy. Discover more about beekeeping from ffreedom’s advanced course on beekeeping.