There are a thousand reasons to love bees, and honey is one. Bees are nature’s angels. Not only do they give us honey but they also pollinate plants. About 40% of the food we eat is made possible due to pollination by bees. Bees pollinate onions, watermelons, oranges, cashew nuts, cucumber and over eighty other vegetables and fruits.
Why is beekeeping profitable?
- Honey is a good reason for beekeeping. A single bee hive can produce 9 to 27kgs of honey a year. A kg of honey costs about 7000 Tanzanian shillings.
- Beeswax has many uses too. It is used as a furniture polish and moisture-proofing fabric. In addition, beeswax is a main ingredient in lipsticks, certain medicine and foods like jelly beans.
Now that you know why beekeeping is profitable, here is how to start a successful beekeeping business.
Beekeeping can get tasking so it is important to note certain beekeeping facts that will help your business. There are three kinds of honey bees that can be found in a beehive; the drone, the worker and the queen. Honey bees are specialized workers and each member has a role in a hive. This means the hive can’t survive if one member does not perform their duty; teamwork is important. There are also a couple of internet websites and books where you can learn the beekeeping basics which will help you get your general knowledge of beekeeping.
Startup Capital and Equipment
Money is an important factor to consider whenever starting any business. Startup capital is needed to make that business plan a reality. The equipment costs to consider can be divided into three; starter kit equipment, bee equipment and harvest equipment. The Starter kit contains all equipment necessary to jump start the beekeeping business. It includes items like the hat, veil, hive tool, a smoker and smoker fuel. The starter kit equipment helps in protecting yourself when handling bee hives. The smoker is a crucial safety element when trying to extract honey or when visiting the hive same as the veil, hat and hive tool. Also, beekeeping equipment helps in the proper care of bees to ensure they flourish in their hives. The typical beehive is an enclosed structure where the bee colony lives. A hive has a comb which is often cross-attached and cannot be moved without destroying it. This is sometimes called a “fixed-frame” hive to differentiate it from the modern “movable-frame” hives. A typical hive needs a basic 10- frame hive with a good cover, plastic foundations, a set of nails and queen excluder. The beehive also needs a stand, the higher the beehive is the easier it is to lift and manage. Harvest equipment and Honey handling equipment that are needed include honey extractor, electrically heated knife and a bee brush. This equipment will help you manage the beehive and extraction easier.
Other start-up capitals you need to consider are honey processing units, packaging and beehive maintenance.
Your beehive location involves a thorough thought process before making a final decision. You need to ask yourself important questions like is water accessible? Bees collecting water to regulate hive temperature and to mix with pollen to make bee-bread. Another thing to consider is the population around the beehive location. Are there many people in your beehive location? It is crucial to note that bees are dangerous and certain people may be fearful. Most isolated places away from humans are ideal for bee farm locations. Does the area receive enough sunlight? A hive needs an ideal temperature of 95-degrees F. To regulate the temperature, try painting the hives using an appropriate colour of paint. Cold climate beehives can work well with darker paint colours. Beehives in hot climates do better with white or other light colour paint.
This is a final step and it involves issues like labour. As a business owner, you can’t wear too many hats so try to delegate tasks. Hire a marketing team or advertise digitally to generate demand. Hire an accountant to manage your daily business activities and cash flow. Hire an apiarist or beekeeper to help you harvest well. To learn more about local beekeeping best practices, join any beekeeping union or associate with other beekeepers.Other beekeepers will share tips or even refer you to other clients.
It’s Worth It
It may sound like an exhaustive workload but beekeeping is a rewarding business. Start now and reap the rewards.