The agricultural sector in Nigeria is vast and diverse! It is also big enough for everyone to partake in. There is no better time than now to take advantage of the tremendous benefits presented by agriculture. This is moreso due to the recent incentives made available to Nigerian farmers by governments. These favorable policies are nothing more than the desire by government to boost the non oil sector of the economy and its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product. In this article we will discuss honey bees farming in Nigeria. A topic which is increasingly receiving attention among Nigerians due to its many benefits. Honey production!
Bees, Honey and Stings
The first thing that comes to the mind of most people when honey bee farming is mentioned is the thought of bee stings. If you are faced with the same situation, you fears are rightly justified. This is because people have been stung to death by bees on several occasions. However, this does not mean that everything about bee farming is negative, as many have built thriving honey business, employing extra hands in the process. You can also turn your financial fortunes around.
Health Benefits of Honey
Honey has several health benefits which makes it highly sought after among Nigerians. Some health benefits of honey include being a natural cough syrup, minimises gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers, helps in healing burns and wounds as well as the prevention of cancers and heart diseases among others. The best part of honey farming is that you benefit both economically as well as healthwise throught he consumption of your products.
Low Start-up Costs Required
The best part of starting a honey bee business in Nigeria is the fact that there is minimal cost involved in the production of honey. As a matter of fact, most of your start-up costs will go into the construction of boxes where the bees will build their hive. After hiring the services of a carpenter to build one for you, cost such boxes will last for a long time. Buying protective gear is another important requirement for the business. Protective gear will protect you from stings. Its is a well known fact that bees are more aggressive when the beehive is heavy (loaded with honey).
As a backup, you may also need a smoke sprayer or dispenser. This significantly reduces the aggression of the bees as their defence system is significantly disabled. By masking the alarm pheromones released by the bees, especially those on guard, you can easily perform your honey inspection with minimal resistance.
How to Start
To start a honey bee farm, you must have an area of land that is removed from residential dwellings. This is to minimise sting incidences. Although bees can be dangerous, you need to have a fence or wall round your farm to keep dare-devil thieves at bay. Your been hive boxes must be ready. It must be built in such a way that it allows for easy harvesting of honey. You should get a skilled carpenter for this. If you can perform a good job by constructing your own boxes, then by all means you should do so.
After constructing your boxes, the next step is to get the bees! How is this possible? Simple! All you need to do is simply buy Some Honey. Especially the unprocessed one. This is not a rule of thumb as you can use any one you can lay your hands on. this should be shared into the boxes. You can smear the honey within the boxes and hang them in a safe location where it will not be vandalised. Before long, your visitors will come calling. they will occupy these boxes and continue from where you stopped.
Depending on how much they are, the average time it takes before harvest is 6 weeks. However it is necessary that you carry out inspection visits. This shouldn’t be too often as you may end up interrupting honey production. One you starting this business, the potential for profits are high. An added advantage is that you don’t have to do much work. However, success in this business largely depends on how well you start and plan the business.