Why Bee Keeping? To answer that question I have to let you know bee keeping is one interesting part of farming, you stand the chance to make good profit out of this venture, besides profit there are lots of added benefits to farming or keeping bees. If you are already a farmer who is interested in farming bee I will strongly advice you to place your apiary (location where bee keeping take place) in the midst of fruit such as mango, citrus, etc. placing bee hives in a fruit farm will boost pollination thereby multiplying the harvest as bees are generally known as agent of pollination. Besides getting honey from bees, there are numerous product which can also be extracted from bees which serves as raw materials that are employed by big companies to produce major products.
This article makes available step by step guide to help you kick start bee farming.
Before venturing into any business, a good plan is required, a well prepared document containing answers to these questions: what is my motivation for this business, what do I want to do, how do I go about doing it, what I need to achieve this, how far do I want to go, how much capital do I need to start? Answers to these questions and many other questions you might have during this planning period should come from the abundant of knowledge in your head and not from the believe or decisions of your heart (it could be disastrous).
Also, getting yourself equipped is very important, what do I mean? Go for knowledge, without adequate knowledge of how to keep bees you are bound to lose your start up capital or whatsoever capital you put into the venture and when this happens, you will get discourage and planning to quit will be your capital thought. To avoid all of this from happening go for knowledge, get trained and tutored under professionals. Seeking advice from successful bee farmer in your community also go a long way to help you.
When all is said and done, get a good business plan which will serve as a blue print for your investment and a guide book to success.
This is where you become a farmer, after you must have created you plan, gathered all the knowledge needed, made your guide book (business plan) and fulfilled every other righteousness needed in Step One above what happens next is starting up your bee farm.
Bee keeping does not require much capital, you can start with as low as N50,000 and you can start with as much as N5,000,000 and above depending on the size of your purse, hey cut your coat according to your size. When you have your capital then get the materials you need such as your hives, frames, net, etc. I will advice that you go for new materials not second hand, as beginners getting second hand can be very risky due to the fact that it will be difficult for you to detect faults in it, but for experienced bee keeper it will be easier to buy second hand because they can detect fault in the materials.
Buying a piece land for your farming is not really needed, you can rent a piece of land or partner with a farmer. Getting a good environment is very important for your bee farm and some of these conditions should be put in place: Your apiary should not be too close to the road or somewhere crowded because of noise, avoid placing your hives in an environment where there is constant use of insecticide, swampy ground are not good for your hives so get a bit dry land.
Bee Farming in Nigeria: Step by step guide
The type of bees you want to farm is a very important decision to make, the types of bees we have are honey bee, mason bee, bumble bee, solitary bee, leaf cutting bee, etc. Pick the right bee for your and start beekeeping.
Lastly in setting up your apiary, consider a location where your bees can get food and water, this is very important because it determines your success.
Bee farming seems more of a seasonal farming therefore the need for it to be well managed is of paramount importance, while farming bees you need know the right time to begin a colony so that won’t get a wrong produce from your farm e.g. If you start your colony too early your bees might not get food and starting to late will permit your bees not to make much honey because the bees will certainly miss out on major push of nectar. Making room for sufficient feeders, good water source and sugar are vital to keep a bee farm.
In most cases we tend to see beekeeping as a complicated and difficult task, for a starter started I want to strongly advice you not to indulge in making experiments in taking care of your bee farm, but keep to the culture of bee farming existing long before you started. This culture have been tried and found true, trying something out of the blue is too big a risk for your farm and it can endanger all your bees and also cost you your investment. From time to time, get a medication for your bees so as to keep them healthy and in good shape.
Are you thinking of how to make profit and recover your capital? Start by letting people know your identity and what you offer, let them know you are a beekeeper and you can supply them with every produce gotten from bee, within a short period of time you will have pharmacies, industrial companies even local consumers queuing up to buy honey and other produce from your farm.
How do I make my profit? Let me give a simple mathematics, from a hive of bee, you can get 10 to 15 litres of honey, if you have 500 or 1,000 hives, I can assure you of making millions of naira yearly.