How to Start Commercial Beekeeping/Apiculture in India

How To Start Beekeeping | How to Start Apiculture in India: If you are in the search of starting your own business of Apiculture or Bee-keeping in your own localities with natural existence apiculture will find a good way for your startup. Bee-keeping is the simple and easy to start and it gives more profit within a short span of time. We are going to provide you with a proper information about the Bee-keeping or Apiculture. If you like the information given below please like and share it with your friends and with others too.

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Apiculture: Apiculture is commercially rearing of Honey Bees or famously involving in Bee-keeping. Bee-keeping is commonly man-made hives. ‘Apis’ means Bee, the scientific names of all the species of honey bees starts with the word Apis. Bee-keeping is the art of caring for colonies of honey bees in large quantities, over and above their own requirements.

History of Beekeeping | History of Bee Farming in India:

The existence of the bee-keeping came into the modern world by the rock paintings from ancient days by the primitive humans. In ancient days Egyptians started the bee-keeping very early. In those days they applied very modern techniques and started bee rearing. During the 19th-century beekeeping became the most commercial in scientific research during those days. Apiculture or bee-keeping is famous in USA, Australia, Germany, and Canada. These countries are having vast industries of a bee-keeping farm. Now a day’s apiculture is introduced into India with more number of techniques and modern methods.

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We are going to give the information about the types of honey bees, scope and importance of bee-keeping, how to rear the honey bees in your own house, how to produce your own honey at your home, cost of bee-keeping in India, Bee-keeping training in India, Loans and subsidies to form a new business in Apiculture in India.

Importance of Beekeeping | Importance of Bee Farming in India:

While coming to the scope and Importance of be-keeping, now a day’s honey is a commercial nutritional food. As the increase in the population of India, the consumption of Honey is gradually increasing day by day. As we know that honey is very nutritional and healthy consuming food. Honey bees provide wax which is widely used in the soap industries. Honey bees are good pollinating agents, they increase the agriculture yield.

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Uses and Health Benefits of Honey:

  • Honey acts as rehydration agent and reduces the duration of bacterial Diarrhea in children.
  • Honey can reduce a cough at night times and promote good sleep for children.
  • It posses anti-oxidant property i.e., it reduces the ageing effect in an individual.
  • Honey used in treating cellulitis (inflammation of connective tissue) in the skin due to its antibacterial activity.
  • Honey is the natural sweetener that can be used as the substitute for sugar in coffee and tea. This will be the best sweetening agent and satisfies the taste of the people with diabetes.
  • It stabilizes and controls the blood pressure.
  • Honey eliminates the allergies and skin diseases.
  • Honey acts as anti-inflammatory agent.
  • It is useful in the proper digestive system.
  • Honey strengthens the immune system.
  • Honey controls the sugar levels and controls the Asthma too.
  • It is helpful in curing the eye diseases in eye care centres.
  • Honey is helpful for weight loss.

Uses of Bee Wax in India:

Bee-wax is the natural by-product of honey that posses unique uses in the organic industry as follows,

  • Lip- moisturizer,
  • Skin lotion as it possess vitamin-E
  • Candles- the unique feature of this candle is that it does not emit harmful smoke instead it emits the smell of honey and makes one feel good.
  • It helps in sealing the envelopes and greetings because it is easy to scratch it out and does not possess any harmful effect on skin too.
  • Making toothpaste.
  • Making water prove leathers.
  • Helps in removing dental floss.
  • Making of healing balm.
  • Many Herbal companies use it in herbal oils and convert them into ointments.
  • It also acts as a lubricant while pulling the gold and other precious metals into thin wires or strands.
  • They also act as lip gloss.
  • Companies are using it in preparing the lip balms.
  • They also have a role in making eyeshadows and they are also used in eyeliners.

Types of Species of Honey Bee in India for Beekeeping:

There are commonly four types species of honey bees are available in honey bees. These species are under the single genus Apis (apis=bees).

1. Apis dorsata (THE ROCK- BEE): This is biggest and largest Honeybee. These honey bees open single and largest comb while comparing to other honey bees. These species prepare their combs on high branches of trees and on rocks. These bees are difficult to domesticate. These bees produce the large quantity of honey while comparing to other species. The sting of this bee is dangerous if it bites human may lead to death. This bee is ferocious.

2. Apis indica (THE INDIAN BEE): They are commonly found in medium size. The hives of these bees are made of several parallel combs in dark places such as cavities of tree trunks, mud walls, earthen posts, etc. These bees are not ferocious and they can easily domestication.

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3. Apis florea (THE LITTLE BEE): Usually they are small in size. The hives of these bees are in several small parallel combs. They set their combs in bushes and hedges. Their honey yield is so poor.

4. Apis mellifera (THE EUROPEAN BEE): Some of the bees are related to Indian species like Apis indica. These species are introduced into all parts of countries. They are easy to domesticate and these are lightly ferocious. The yield is good and profitable while comparing to the honey of other bees.

What is The Honey Yield Per Hive:

We have seen a number of types of Indian bees. We will now let you know what is the Average honey yield per hive per year of each and every honeybee type. For this, you can check the below table which will help you to know what is the yield of average Indian honeybee.

Various Activities In Castes of Bee in Bee Farming:

There are three types of castes of honey bees. Like Queen bee, Workers and Drones in bee-keeping.

(i) Queen – This is only one and this is functionally female.
(ii)Workers – They are about 20,000-30,000, They are sterile females.
(iii)Drones – They are only a few, functional males available prior to swarming.

QUEEN BEE: It is the only perfect fertile female bee in the colony of bee-hive she is big and large size, her wings are small and shrivelled. The queen bee is the bee which is selected by the worker bee and they are fed with royal jelly to mature(fertile). The only function of the queen bee is a reproduction and its needs are met by the worker bees by bringing the food and disposing of the waste of queen bee. While comparing to the workers her mouth sucking parts are usually small in size. The wax glands are absent in this bee. The lifespan of this bee is about 3 to 4 years. This queen bee lays about 800 to 1500 eggs per day. Their abdomen is longer than the worker bee.

The main difficulty met with the bee-keeper is to identify the queen bee. This can be made simple by painting colour in their thorax without harming them. This also helps the bee-maker to identify their age and helps them in deciding whether to allow the queen bee or to replace it with the new one to maintain their hive due to their ageing. The most common colours used by the bee-keeper are yellow, blue, red and green respectively.

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WORKER BEE: These are also the female honey bees but they are not fertile in nature. They always surround the queen bee and protect her. They feed on royal jelly for three days after hatching and then they feed on pollen grains. This is the pollinating agent in the plant that results in cross-pollination. They collect the pollen from their back legs. They are imperfectly developed females. These worker bees have small wings and smaller than the queen bee. They are having well-developed stings. Their wings are small but strong enough to fly more height than other bees.

DRONES: These are produced from the unfertilized eggs and they are males. Their production will be done by new virgin queens. When they become the age of 14 to 18 days they start chasing virgin queens and do mating. The average lifespan of drones is about 60 days. After the mating the will die.

Requirements of New Queen or Swarming of New Queen:

Usually, the lifespan of the queen bee is four years, when it becomes older at a 3rd year a chemical like a stimulus comes out from its body then the workers collect it to get the new queen into their hive. It lays a single egg in its brood cells. The larvae forms on the saliva of the workers. Then they turn into pupae and later they turn into queens. The first queen which emerges kills the other queens and remain single queen. This new queen collects all the swarm from all the ages of workers and leave the old hive and prepares new colony for a new site or other areas. The new queen in the old hive takes the drones to mate and returns to the same hive.

Commercial Production of Honey or Apiculture:

Honey bees produce both honey and wax these are indigenous products and commercially high in cost. These the highly valuable and marketable commodities in the market.

Indigenous Methods of Beekeeping | Indigenous Methods of Apiculture:

1. While beekeeping they prepare walls or fixed types of hives in rectangular spaces in the walls with the small holes.
2. Some of them prepare movable types of hives in wooden boxes or some pitchers in the wall. Mostly the traditional beekeepers catch clustered swarms from trees, bushes, etc and transfer them to the smalls wooden boxes or pitchers. After few days when the honey is ready, the bees will leave the comb. If they didn’t leave the comb then you apply smoke to the comb. After the applying the smoke the bee will leave the comb and drives away. Then you can cut the comb and take the honey by squeezing out with a piece of large meshed cloth.

Modern Hives in Beekeeping | Modern Hives in Bee Farming | Modern Hives in Apiculture:

The modern hives are made by preparing the hives by square boxes without tops or bottoms. While you will see that these boxes are on one above the other. There is a crown board at the top and floor at the bottom. The hanging Vertically parallel wooden frames are also available inside those boxes. These wooden frames are filled with the sheets of wax and the bees prepare their comb. The honeybees produce the honey on this wooden frame which is present in those boxes. These combs have the single entrance at the bottom of the boxes near to the brood chamber.

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This is the only place from where the queen bee comes in and goes out. Furthermore, with the help of “Suppers”, they make these boxes. These are helpful in storing the honey in those boxes while beekeeping. The ‘queen excluder’ protects the queen bee. While this ‘queen excluder’ stops the queen to go near to the suppers. They allow only a few or single workers to go near the suppers.

Catching The Swarm in Beekeeping:

We have already given the information of swarm. When the queen becomes old and about to die, it releases the swarm. Worker Bees collects this swarms and they prepare the new hive along with the new queen bee. The worker bees collect this swarms from the swarm collectors. Furthermore, The straw baskets are helpful in collecting the bees. While these straw baskets have small lids and these straw baskets are names as collectors.

Hiving a Swarm in Beekeeping:

This is the process of building or producing the honey by transferring the straw into the hive of the colonies of bee or bee comb. There are two methods in this process. Furthermore check below to know these two process.

1.Traditional method.
2.Quick method.

1. Traditional Method in the Beekeeping | Traditional Method in Apiculture: This is the most traditional method practising since so many years or decades. In this method, honeybees construct the hives with the help of brood chambers. While you will observe a number of frames in this hive. Furthermore, they prepare the frame sheet at the bottom of the hive box. On the other hand, with the help of Crown Board, honeybees make the top or roof of the hive. While at the entrance of the hive, they arrange a white sheet of a sloping board to block the view of the entrance. The bees knock at the slope which is present in the baskets.

2. Quick Method of Beekeeping | Quick Method in Apiculture: In this method, the entrance is closed and the crown board of the hive is removed and at the same time frames are also taken off. In this process, the skep or the basket will mix immediately into the hive. While the bees will pour into the bee chamber from the top of the box. After this, you will notice that the hive has many frames of wax. If not these wax frames are inside on the hive box.

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Furthermore, the crown board is at back into its position. While the entrance of this hive is open. After this process, we should observe that the queen bee is entering the hive or not. At this position, we should feed the bees with the sugar syrup to make them settle and continue to do new work in their new home.

Bee Pasture in Beekeeping | Bee Pasture in Apiculture in India:

The plants which produce ‘nectar and pollen’ together or collectively termed as ‘Bee pasture’. While some of the plants like Ornamental plants, Fruit plants and Forest plants produce these nectars and pollen and comprise the Bee pasture. Furthermore, the sweet secretion of the flower is Nectar. It plays as the major source of the raw material in the production of the honey. These honey bees collect the major food of the brood from the pollens of the flowers.

Testing the Purity of Honey:

To be frank there are no tests to find the purity of honey by the customers. While the Homogenous granulation is the only hope to find the purity of the honey. Furthermore, there are several ways to find the Monosaccharides.

Cost of Beekeeping in India | Cost of Apiculture in India:

We are going to give the total and proper information about the cost of beekeeping in India. If you are going to start beekeeping at your home or starting it as a business you no need to invest huge amount. Hence we are going to give the information at low investment. Furthermore, it is always better to start the beekeeping in small scale and make it to the large scale within a span of two or three years. You can start your own beekeeping with 2,25,000rps. Only. The best time to start beekeeping or apiculture is August to September. If you start beekeeping in these months you may earn more income.

Expenditure of Beekeeping | Expenditure of Bee Farming | Expenditure of Apiculture

  • It’s better to start beekeeping with a number of 80 colonies. The cost of a number of 01 bee hives is about 2000 rupees.
  • Then the cost of 80 colonies of hives is about 2000 x 80 = 1,60,000 rupees.
  • Furthermore, the cost of single bee box is 400 rupees. For the cost of 80 beehive boxes is 400 x 80 = 32,000 rupees.
  • For the cost of honey-tent, bee-tool, bee-brush, bee-veil is around 5000 rupees to 7000 rupees.
  • While If you use some of the instruments like uncapping-tray and honey units, then the cost will be up to 12,000 rupees.
  • 1kg of bee-wax sheet costs about 350 rupees to 450 rupees.

Income Returns in Beeking | Income Returns in Apiculture:

  1. If you take 1kg of honey is about 120 rupees, the total production of honey in one hive is about 40kg.
  2. Then in one box, the income of honey is about 40 x 120 = 4,800 rupees.
  3. Then the total income of all the 80 colonies of honey hives is about 80 boxes x 40kgs of honey is 3,200kgs.
  4. While the income of one box is 4,800 rupees then the total income of 80 boxes is 80 x 4,800 = 3,84,000 rupees.
  5. Other costs like labour charges are about 5000 rupees per head then if you are having 6 workers then the cost of wages is about 5000 x 6 = 30,000 rupees.
  6. The travelling or transportation cost is about 20,000 rupees.
  7. Annual feed of bees is around 10,000 rupees.
  8. The following table gives the proper information about the total expenditure of the bee-keeping or Apiculture.

The following table gives the proper information of the cost of beekeeping or Apiculture to Start Beekeeping:

  1. The total income of the beekeeping of 80 hives is about 3,84,000 rupees.
  2. The total cost of expenditure is about 2,58,000 rupees.
  3. Overall income of bee keeping of 80 hives is 3,84,000 rupees – 2,58,000 rupees = 1,26,000 rupees.
  4. The total profit of bee-keeping or Apiculture of 80 colonies of hives is 1,26,000 rupees.

Conclusion on Beefarming in India:

While coming to the final conclusion of beekeeping, you have learned about the simplest methods of bee farming. We sincerely hope that you have got enough idea about how to start Beekeeping in India. If you still have any kind of doubts regarding how to start Beekeeping at home, then you can contact us via the comment section. We are here to help you out so that you can start Beekeeping at your home with the lowest cost. Hence there is no need to think twice to reach out to us, as we are always ready to help you.

11 thoughts on “How to Start Commercial Beekeeping/Apiculture in India

  1. Hi team. Your post is really good. I am aslo starting bee keeping business on commercial level. Also very soon I am going to get training from KVIC Pune. But what I found out is vendors near Pune and Mumbai selling one box of bees @5000-6100 RS. And it is to high than what you have share price in blog. Can you please share updated rate of bee hives and equipments with vebdors contact details which will help me a lot. I was planning to start with nearly 100 hives.

    1. yes, the information what you got is right. The price what the vendors are told to you is also correct. Present one bee hive is costing about 5000 rupees to 6200 rupees. Even if you have any dought regarding the prices you can buy them through online like Amazon or indianmart.com

  2. Book keeping is very simple explained. But one point you missed to explain. Could you please time frame for honey extraction?
    Well please tell in terms of day or month so that we could calculate earning per month basis.

  3. Hello,

    I was given to understand the European bee is not suitable for South india ( around Bangalore). Cerena Indica is recommended, is this correct. Can you throw some light on this.

    Thanks

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