Bee keeping in Nigeria is a lucrative business. It could make you a million(s) depending on how serious you take it. This apiary business has helped people. Those who started bee farming have attested to its profitable nature.
You might be wondering as a specialist in bee farming, how can someone venture into this business and make profit from it?
Normally, those who want to venture into bee keeping business in Nigeria have to seek knowledge from experts and go for its training. After gaining such knowledge, you must draw up an apiary business plan to guide you on how to start and make your profit.
How much is needed to start bee farming business?
With as low as N50,000 or even a high amount of N5 million Naira or more, Bee farming is one of the agricultural enterprises that you can either start with less or more capital. If the equipment used in bee-keeping, like bee hives, are locally produced, it will help reduce cost.
What kind of land is required to start bee farming in Nigeria?
You need not own a land before you start bee farming business. You can even hire a piece of land or better still partner with fruit farmers who have citrus and mango trees. Your bees will help pollinate the fruits trees, which of course will increase the products of the farmers.
What quantity of honey can a farmer get from a bee hive?
You can get up to 10-15 liters of honey per hive.
Below are steps to get you started with bee keeping business in Nigeria
1. Step one: Training & Bee Farming Business Plan
The first and the most important step in bee farming is getting trained and creating your plan. Hell no! No one goes to war without knowing the art of war less he set himself up for failure. Likewise, planning is very critical as what will make a difference between the success and failure of your business is planning. You need to get the appropriate training from a practicing farming before you start this.
While online guides might give you a head way, it is not what you need if you really want to actually benefit from this. You need to learn how to keep bee and of course how to keep yourself save from them and the best way to go about this is by learning from a practicing farmer.
After acquiring the necessary training, you need to write out your business plan. This is because from the plan, you will know if the business is viable or not (if you’re truthful to yourself). You need to tell yourself how much you need for the business and then calculate how much you will get from it as well as how you will generate the necessary capital. Your marketing strategy also needs to be spelt out because the main aim of this is profit and without selling your products, you wouldn’t achieve your aim.
Step two: Capital, Equipment & Location
The next step is getting the required capital, equipment and environment for your bee keeping business. You necessarily do not need to buy a land; you can rent a land or partner with a farmer. Your apiary (place where bees are kept) need to be in the best condition so you can have a good return on investment. Keep your apiary away from the road or any noisy as well as crowded place. It should also not be in a swampy area as well as places where insecticides are used.
After getting a good location, the next step is choosing the type of bee you want to keep and buy the equipment (preferably new ones). There are different species of bee such as the mason bee, honey bee, solitary bee, bumble bee, etc. You will learn about each of this during your training. After getting your equipment and bees, you need to set the apiary, making sure it is in a place they can find food and water.
Taking care of bees is a bit complicated so you need to stick to the training you were given and avoid trying out new things. Don’t use your investment as a trial and error empire. Master the art first, and then you have the liberty to make trials. Make sure they get the necessary requirement such as food, water and medication as this will be a major determinant in your bee keeping business.
Step four: Marketing
Marketing your bees is an important skill you need to learn to succeed in the business. You need to inform your potential customers about your business and convince them to buy from you. If everything is done right, you will be glad you ventured into bee farming in Nigeria.
The Basic Rules To Successful Bee Keeping Business in Nigeria
- The first thing is to have basic knowledge because you don’t give what you don’t have. Good management of bees is also paramount; you need to manage your pairing very well. In the aspect of hives construction, it must be to the target and finally, you must have a very good location.
- I usually tell people there are conditions for siting the hives; you just don’t put it anywhere. It must not be close to the road side because of noise and then one must avoid areas where pesticides or insecticides are used. The box must not be placed on a mashing ground; it must be a little bit dry. Don’t put them on swampy areas because the bees have their body temperature. So you have to be very careful on that.
- Again, one must note that when siting the hives, it must be close to the source of their food source. Don’t put them in the desert because bees travel as far as three kilometers to get their food. But we are so blessed in Nigeria with food plants. We have about two hundred plants that can give bees food, unlike the temperate countries that don’t have some of these plants.
- It must be close to source of water because bees drink water too. The food of bees depends on nectar and pollen and as a bee farmer, you must ensure that your hives are close to where there is nectar and pollen.