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How to Start a Beekeeping Business

Mayuri Kulkarni
One can choose beekeeping as a mere hobby or start a beekeeping business with the intention of making money. Here are some guidelines that will help you understand the tricks of the trade.
Beekeeping, which is also known as apiculture, is a process of maintaining honey bees in order to produce honey and beeswax. The hives required for production of these products are built artificially by humans. The location of the place where these honey bees are cultured is referred to as apiary.
Beekeeping can be fun, and there are many people in this world who follow it as their hobby, while there are few who have opted for it as their livelihood. If you opt beekeeping as your hobby then you will require very less initial investment.
Moreover, once you start, you do not require to spend lot of time on daily basis. You can manage your beekeeping business along with your daily activities. You can use the honey produced for your family or can sell it in the market. Eventually, if you plan to market the products, you will need a proper business plan.
When you want to follow beekeeping as your business, you need to put in lots of efforts and money, so that you remain at the top in the market. You need to be equipped with latest technologies used to maintain good quality of the honey produced.
This may sound very easy, but it is not so, and it requires strong determination, dedication and hard work to make it a successful business.
You need to be aware of proper business techniques so that you can make good money out of it. So, if you have finally decided to take up beekeeping as a business, then here are some important steps on starting a business with bees.

Starting a Beekeeping Business

Beekeeping is similar to animal husbandry, where you look after your domestic animals and make profit out of the products obtained from them. Thus you need to take proper care, understand the needs of the bees, and only then you can make out great money from the business.
First thing you need to do before starting up this business, is to gather all the required information. Try to talk with other beekeepers, and then you will get some idea on what this business is all about. See whether you can dedicate yourself to this business and make your final decision.

Get the Permission

The first and foremost step is to find out whether the area where you want to set your business is legal for beekeeping.
There are some areas where beekeeping is not allowed. So, you may require to find out some other place, if the location decided by you does not fall in beekeeping zone. Once, you get the permission of setting up the business, you can start with further steps.

Learn the Basics

Decide the location where you will keep your bees. You should go for shady area where the bees can be kept safe from heat and rain. Then, you need to be well equipped with all the supplies required for keeping the bees. Here is a list of all these equipment:
  • Bee hives - These are wooden boxes with frames inside them, where the bees are to be kept.
  • Protective suit - To protect yourself from bee attack or bee stings you need to cover your whole body with a protective suit.
  • Smoker - This is to distract the attention of the bees, when you are extracting honey and beeswax.
  • Fume boards - Fume boards act as liquid repellent.
  • Bee feeders - These are required to feed the bees with syrup.
  • Entrance reducers - To close the hives and to protect the hives from other intruders, these entrance reducers are required.

Buy the Bees

Once you are ready with all the tools and equipment required for keeping the bees, it's time to get the bees. There are different ways to get the bees for beekeeping.
Remember, bees stay in colonies. So, you can buy a ready-made colony from an existing beekeeper or built a one by yourself. The first option is always better than building your own colony.
The number of bees you want to purchase, depends on the quantity of honey you want. So, decide the number of bees according to your needs. Experience will help you learn different tips and tricks on your own.

Some Tips

You can join a local beekeepers' association and learn techniques from them on how to introduce the bees to the beehive. You can always consult people who are already in this business. Once you are ready with honey, you need customers. Many of the beekeepers have their own official website where they update their customers with their new offers.
So, you can also design one such website of your own. To maintain good quality of the honey, you should always use good equipment and tools. The production of honey depends on the temperature and season.
So, get to know the seasons when honey is produced in maximum quantity. Maintain and inspect your bees time to time. Search on websites, read books on beekeeping and enlighten yourself with all the knowledge and information required.
Beekeeping business requires a lot of hard work and experience. Now, when you have got some idea on how to start a beekeeping as a business, begin with your preparation to set up your new business. All the best!