KEEPING bee hive can be rewarding hobby for anybody who has the passion to do it. Bees produce honey which is a very healthy substitute for sugar for those who are healthy conscious.
Honey is considered to be a highly healthy product (next article will be on the benefits of honey). It also offers an attractive source of income, selling at around $60-$100 per kilo at the present. A bee farmer in NZ earns similar level of income for a kilogram of raw honey.
A hive can produce an average of 45 kilogram per harvest that is, if all the 10 frames are full. In areas where the weather is dry and sunny most time, with no presence of Asian bees (another bee species) and with decent flowery presence, harvest can take place more than twice a year. With that information, a quick math gives you a rough figure of how much you can earn from one hive.
One time harvest per year can earn you up to $4,500 and two times harvest per year gives you $9,000. Imagine, you have ten hives and harvest two times a year, that’s almost $90,000 income per year. That is quite good compared to the amount of labor and effort put into it.
Some other positive include; one off major investment in equipment, minimal recurring cost unlike chicken or piggery where recurring cost is huge, women and youth can do it, huge local demand for honey, other products of the bees such as wax, pollen etc can generate income.
While the income from honey is very good, there are challenges to overcome in doing bee keeping. First thing first, is to do a bee keeping training. You need to know what to do, what is involved and how to go about it.
You need to learn about hive management, flower and plants, weather, Asian bees. Once you resolve the issue of training, then the next hurdle is having the right attitude to bee-keeping which include hard work and commitment. You could do well in keeping bees if you have the right training, the right attitude, hard work and commitment.
SISBEC works closely with the Livestock Division and farmers in the provinces to strengthen the bee keeping industry. Our services include; bee keeping training, supplies of equipment, knowledge transfer, queen rearing, buy and sell honey etc.
If you are interested in bee keeping, get in touch with SISBEC on phone 7667270 or 26650.