Bee Farming In India: The activity of managing and sustaining bees and their hives is known as honey bee farming. It is a sort of business that includes caring for and nurturing bees in order to get bee products such as beeswax, honey, flower pollen, royal jelly, and bee pollen. Apiarists are beekeepers; Apiary refers to the whole colony (workers, drones, and a queen). Beekeeping, also known as honey bee farming, has grown in popularity in recent years, and raw honey, beeswax, and royal jelly products are in high demand.
Honey bee farming must be well-managed in order to keep the bees in peak shape, healthy, and disease-free. The health and well-being of honey bee populations are critical components of this farming. Pollinator decline is commonly regarded as needing to be reversed. The honey bee farming sector is in a great position to boost productivity and agricultural yields by providing regulated and targeted pollination services.
Apart from that, the availability of funding, capital costs, apiary locations, transport, equipment and handling, buildings, processing facilities, employees, storage, regulatory requirements, and so forth are all important concerns.
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The Main Honey Bee Farming States in India
Punjab is the country’s leading producer of honeybee rearing, with over 35,000 beekeepers carrying approximately 15,000 metric tonnes of honey. This represents more than 39% of the nation’s overall honey production. Maharashtra is a significant producer of natural honey. India has several facts and figures: During the 2020-21 fiscal year, the government exported 59,999.24 metric tonnes of natural honey valued at Rs 716.13 crore / 96.77 million USD.
Profitable Bee Farming
Beekeeping earns farmers roughly Rs 3 crore every year. Beekeeping is becoming a lucrative industry for many individuals around the nation. We signify the fact that you may acquire a yield of 40 kg per box using several data. If you sell the honey for 100 rupees, you will get 40 times 100 rupees, for a total of 4000 rupees. The total agricultural revenue from apiculture is 40 x 4000 = 1,60,000. As a result, honey bee farming is much too lucrative for farmers.
How to Begin Bee Farming in India
1. Location Prerequisite
When first beginning honey bee farming, discover which form of apiary farm should be employed since it demands some distinct concepts. Bees will need sunlight, water, and a robust hive; they may also require food at specific times of the year. If possible, position the hive against a protective tree line or fence. In order to find adequate pollen, bees will travel considerable distances. Pollen is produced by a variety of plants, including grasses, herbs, trees, flowers, and weeds. It is not necessary to have a blossoming flower bed in your yard, but having a diverse garden can assist the bees to acquire enough food.
2. Status of Hives
As a novice beekeeper, your first year with a beehive will be an adventure at every turn. A colony appears and behaves differently throughout the spring, summer, autumn, and winter, and you may be seeing this for the first time. If you can afford it, we suggest beginning your beekeeping experience in India with two hives (both in money and time). You may not notice anything out of the ordinary, but with two hives, you will realize that something is different between them. Take into account that more than 40% of all beekeepers died last year. If you have one hive and it removes one in 40% of the time, you will have to start again the next year.
- Skep: This form of the hive is no longer utilized since honey is difficult to collect from the scape and it is difficult to clean and may be filthy. While it is no longer in service, scapes may be a stylish addition to a vintage agricultural equipment collection.
- The top bar beehive resembles a pool used for livestock feed. Bees construct combs by dragging them down from the wooden bar inside the hive’s top.
- Langstroth: The Langstroth beehive is found in various sections of the nation. Langstroth is made out of hardwood boxes called supers that are placed on top of one another. Within the wooden boxes, the bees construct their combs and fill the wax frame cells with honey.
- Warre hives are smaller than Top Bar and Langstroth hives. These hives resemble a hybrid between a hollowed-out tree and a top bar hive.
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3. Learn About Bees
You should be well-versed in beekeeping. Understanding the colonies in the hive (workers, queen bees, and drones), the functions they provide, the influence on the environment, and the pests and illnesses that might affect success are all important. Next, acquire some nice bees and begin with a nucleus colony. Begin with as few colonies as possible; two bee colonies will suffice. After that, you may on to commercial honey bee raising. As a result, we are expanding on the sorts of honey bees in order to provide more information on the honey bee species in India.
Apis Dorsata: Apis dorsata, popularly known as the rock bee, is a kind of honey bee. It is a massive bee that generates 38-40 kg of honey per colony every year.
Apis Indica: The Indian bee is also referred to as Apis Indica. It is simple to domesticate and is often used to make honey. Apis Indica produces 2 to 5 kilograms per colony per year.
Apis Florea is another name for Tiny Bee. Honey is simple to remove from the hive since it seldom hurts. As a consequence, each colony produces around 1 kilogram of honey every year.
Apis Mellifera: The Italian bee is another name for Apis mellifera. This species stings less than the smaller bee and has a highly specialized dance routine to signal food availability. It may, nevertheless, generate between 20 and 40 kg of honey per colony each year.
4. Honey Bee Cultivation Equipment
The conditions of your equipment vary according to the size of your business, the number of colonies, and the sort of honey you produce. Nevertheless, the essential equipment required is hive components, safety clothing, smoker and hive equipment, and tools for honey harvesting. A hive is a man-made structure that houses a bee colony. Throughout the years, a diverse range of hires has been constructed.
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5. Bee Pollination Management
If you need bees for pollination, you should consider keeping them. Nevertheless, keeping a large number of robust hives all year is challenging, and most producers prefer to rent hives. But you have to adhere to these steps.
To preserve the bees’ energy, place the hives too near to the source of the field.
At 10% blossoming, relocate colonies towards the field.
Maintain Italian bee colonies at 3/ha and Indian bee colonies at 5/ha.
Colonies must include at least 5 – 6 frames of bees, a sealed brood, and a young mate queen.
Provide ample room for pollen and honey storage.
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6. Diseases and pests
There are several illnesses that impact bees in India. Acarine and Nosema infections of adult bees, as well as brood sickness of larval stages, are the most serious bee diseases. As a result, the farmer must plan ahead of time to manage certain pests and illnesses. The farmer might seek assistance from the local agricultural department.
7. Honey Bee Collecting
Most beekeepers extract honey twice or three times each year. Honey is typically gathered between the months of June and September. The frequency with which you harvest is determined by plant life and your local environment. Adverse weather, infections, and pests penetrating your hives will all have an impact on your harvesting timeline.
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