Beekeeping like any other agriculture based business requires some measure of good “care-taking” skills, patience and planning.
The business usually needs at the minimum some capital, a little expertise on the subject matter and a piece of property on which to establish the hive.
As the insects can strike fear in some individuals, prudence and common sense is required, in ensuring the safety of all personnel likely to have some contact with the bees as well as oneself.
The profitability of the business largely depends on the output of the hives, which is highly dependent on the available food sources and their suitability for honey production.
How to Start Beekeeping Business
- A beekeeping venture is going to require the proprietor obtains some of the following: a hive (these come in different designs), a queen bee and most importantly worker bees.
- These can be obtained mainly from specialty distributors, or in some cases from established beekeepers. Some safety equipment will be needed, like protective clothing and a smoke box.
- The smoke has the effect of calming the insects so they do not get agitated when the hive is opened up for inspection.
- A bee colony can be started in about three different ways, these are : swarm, a complete hive and a nucleus.
- A nucleus will usually consist of the queen and a few hundred workers, normally this type will need to be supported with sugar and water till they can fend for themselves sufficiently.
- This nucleus can be obtained from another hive.
- Something to note is that the super (a separator) should not be added to the brood chamber until the bees have filled all the frames in there with honey.
The local regulations
- Bee keeping is legal in many places but on occasion some communities may be found that have banned beekeeping.
- Know the rules that apply to the area, you intend to have the hives and the bees.
- Most beekeeping accidents may be mitigated by using common sense, so one should take every opportunity to keep people and bees separate, to avoid the possibility of injury.
- Bees have been successfully kept in urban areas like Manhattan and Vancouver, living in the balcony or on the roof tops of buildings without a glitch.
- The way that the hive is managed plays important role in the business.
- The hive will need consistent inspection and these checks should ensure that bees are collecting nectar, the queen is laying and there are no sign of disease or distress in the colony.
- The queen’s condition affects that of the entire colony, and whenever necessary, she should be replaced. New queens cells must be removed since if a new queen arises, the old one will leave with part of the workers an all the honey they carry.
- If there are oilseed rape plants that the bees patronize for pollen, the honey should be extracted quickly as it tends to harden with time. In the main honey harvesting season, the frames are removed and the wax caps taken off sung hot knives or other specialized equipment.
- Selling the honey can be done by direct sales to consumers, through shops or in county fairs. There are large honey production brands that will subcontract small producers to produce the honey under their label.