Honey bee farming is one of the most enjoyable types of businesses out there. The honey bee extracts honey from its natural surroundings and then converts it into something that is consumable. In addition, honey bees help to pollinate the vegetables and fruits in one’s area. When considering going into this line of business, it will be great you understand some opportunities it provides for good business:
- Honey production: Honey finds extensive application across several industries locally and internationally. In the food industry, it is preferred to processed sugars and other sweeteners used in baking, beverages, and foods. Pharmaceutical companies use it as a sweetening agent for children’s drugs and also as a nutritional supplement for children, athletes and people suffering from diabetes, etc. It is also used to produce cleansers, lotions, and creams in the cosmetic industry.
- Beeswax is a wax material produced from the honeybee’s body. A lot of craftspeople and manufacturers still spend a lot of money importing beeswax which can be produced locally. Beeswax has a much wider use than honey and is widely known to have a ready market. It is used in food processing industries as an additive and a common ingredient in chewing gum. It has much wider use in the skin care and cosmetic industry where it has been found better than petroleum jelly in making products like lip gloss, moisturizers, eye shadow, etc. Other commercially viable byproducts to look out for from your bee farm include – pollen, royal jelly (or bee’s milk), honey bee venom (scientifically known as Apitoxin), propolis (also known as bee glue) all these have the potential to greatly increase your revenue from the business.
- Pollination services are fast becoming a decent money maker for beekeepers. Bees play a huge part in helping plants to produce fruits. As orchard owners, plantation farmers and vegetable farmers work to increase the size of their harvests, beekeepers are getting paid to locate their bee hives within orchards, plantations, and farms so the bees can do their magic! This is a trend that is very likely to grow in the coming years as farmers strive to increase their yields.
Once you are done with your business research, you have to make up your mind on how and where to start. In starting from your home for basic honey production, you would need to purchase bee boxes; hive bodies for breeding and honey supers for storing honey. It would also have a bottom board, a lid, and an outer cover as well as frames to serve as honeycombs. Then, you should choose a suitable location to set up your bee farm. The best place to use is close to water supply and facing east. It’s good practice to sure that there are trees and flowers surrounding the area. Then you get your bees (queen bee, worker bees, and drones bees). You can order bees online; a 3-pound package would contain about 10,000 bees which you could start with.
Harvesting Honey from the Beehive: harvesting honey should be done with utmost care. As a beginner, it is advisable to engage the services of experienced people to do it for you so that you can learn. To start with, you have to be clad in a safety armor to protect yourself.
Package your honey for sale: Get a decent and attractive packaging and ensure that the honey is free from impurities. Also, ensure you are in compliance with local standards and regulations for your business. Get creative with your methods here, so they suit your local conditions and clientele. As you strengthen your expertise in the business, keep an eye on export opportunities as this can significantly expand your business.
Access your Market: The demand for pure, organic honey is usually quite high so you won’t have a hard time selling your honey. However, it is important you develop a sound marketing plan that will enable you to reach all your potential clients and services them adequately. Promote your pollination services, other by-products, and derivatives of you rbusiness. Consider giving demonstrations and training to local organizations, farmer groups, associations, etc. This will position you firmly as an expert in the industry and get you a lot more exposure.
Be diligent and thorough in your understanding of the business details – Get started and keep an open mind. Be quick to learn trends and new imaginations in your line of business. Persistence and the determination to succeed are the most important skills you bring to the table.