Interested in small beekeeping business ideas? If YES, here is how to open a honey farm with no money and no experience. How much does it cost to start up?
How to Start a Honey Bee Farm
Do you think you should start a honey farm? Honey bees manufacture lots of honey in their hives which can serve as a source of income or for personal consumption. Apiculture the practice of rearing bees in hives can serve as a good commercial business as honey is heavily consumed.
A lot of products obtained from bees such as beeswax, honey and so on are in demand nowadays which can fetch a high profit or you can decide on a non-profit small scale farm for family and relatives.
HONEY FARMING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
In this article however, we will discuss on how to start a honey farm. There are various steps to be carried out before operating a fully equipped and functional honey farm (apiary);
SAMPLE HONEY FARM BUSINESS PLAN
NATURE OF THE HONEY FARM
The first step to start a honey farm is to understand the philosophy of bees. The honey bee colony is an inexplicable and self reliant entity that can house over one hundred thousand members consisting of the unfertile female bees who carry out the major work in the hive which includes the feeding and cleaning of the queen and gathering nectars for honey production and the beeswax for the hive.
The male or drone bees in the hive unlike the worker bees only move around, consume honey and mate. The queen rests at the centre of the hive, it produces eggs until it becomes inefficient and is then taken out by the worker bees.
So after you may have understood what goes on in a beehive, you must decide the type of bees you want to start a honey farm with. Gentle bees such as the buckfast bees are recommended for beginners because they’re easier to watch over and maintain.
There are a few ways to collect bees for a honey farm, you can either decide to catch a stray spring swam of bees or buy a fully instituted beehive from other bee farmers. When you have decided the bees you want to purchase, employ the services of a skilled apiarist to inspect and properly examine the hive and bees to ensure they are in good condition.
RESEARCH BEEKEEPING REGULATIONS IN YOUR AREA
Before you start a honey farm, make sure there are no regulations and laws against placing the farm in your backyard. Register with the Beekeeping association of your state to gather information on these regulations.
LOCATION OF BEEHIVE
When you want to start a honey farm, you may have considered urban areas as inappropriate locations to start a honey farm. This assumption is wrong because bee hives can be placed in any location with healthy nectar producing flowers, you may decide to place your bee hive on the top of your roof or in a small portion of the backyard, there will be no problem as long as you have properly researched on the types of bees to purchase.
However, this choice of location is not advisable to those who are allergic to bee stings.
Also consider neighbors when choosing a location, place the hive in places where it will not disturb those living around or using the side walk.
HARVESTING THE HONEY
First timers who have never tried out honey harvesting should ensure adequate protection and care to avoid accidents and mistakes. When putting out the time to start a honey farm, you should also consider learning the process of harvesting the honey.
A rundown of the process of honey harvesting;
- Open the hive, use a smoker to constrain the bees to the bottom of the hive and remove the sealed inner cover.
- The next step is to move the bees away from the hive. You should definitely not attempt to harvest the homey with the bees in the hive, the bees should be removed using any method you find most efficient.
- Uncap the sealed honey comb on each side of the collected frame.
- Extract the honey from the frame using manual or electrical extraction devices, the honey is allowed to fall to the bottom of the extractors drum.
- Open the faucet of the extractor’s drum and pass the honey through cheesecloth until all physical impurities are removed.
After these processes, the honey is ready to be bottled.
If you have never tried out bee farming before, it is advisable to study them a few times from a professional beekeeper who would show you a few techniques in honey farming.
When you start a honey farm, it is relatively easy to maintain compared to other forms of livestock farming as raring bees would not require you to clear out manure or fill, or clean water and food trough, bees gather their own food and rely solely upon themselves to survive.
Note that different types of flowers would produce different honey. It is important to move the hives from place to place to yield different honey from bees. Do not place beehives in cold wet places and be very cautious as beeswax stings causes irritations to the skin.