BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
KEEPING bee hive can be a rewarding hobby for anybody who has the passion to do it.
Bees produce honey which is a very healthy substitute for sugar to those who are healthy conscious.
According to Ben Nginabule from Solomon Islands Small Business Enterprise Centre (SISBEC), honey is considered to be a highly healthy product also offering an attractive source of income selling at around $60 to $100 per kilo at present.
“Bee farmers in NZ earn similar level of income for a kilogramme of raw honey,” said Nginabule.
“A hive can produce an average of 45 kilogramme per harvest that is if all the 10 frames are full.”
“In areas where the weather is dry and sunny most time with no presence of Asian bees (another bee species) with decent flowery presence, harvest can take place more than twice a year.”
“With that information, a quick math gives you a rough figure of how much you can earn from one hive. One time harvest per year can earn you up to $4,500 and two times harvest per year gives you $9,000.”
“Imagine you have ten hives and harvest two times a year, that’s almost $90,000 income per year being quite good compared to the amount of labor and effort put into it.”
In SISBEC’s release, some other positivity’s in keeping bee hives include being off major investment in equipment, minimal recurring cost unlike chicken or piggery where recurring cost is huge, women and youth can do it, huge local demand for honey, other products of the bees such as wax, pollen and so can generate income.
“While the income from honey is very good, there are challenges to overcome in doing bee keeping.”
“First is to do a bee keeping training. You need to know what to do, what is involved and how to go about it.”
“You need to learn about hive management, flower and plants, weather and Asian bees.”
“Once you resolve the issue of training, then the next hurdle is having the right attitude to bee-keeping which include hard work and commitment. You could do well in keeping bees if you have the right training, right attitude, hard work and commitment.”
SISBEC works closely with the Livestock Division and farmers in the provinces to strengthen the bee keeping industry.
Their services include bee keeping training, supply of equipment, knowledge transfer, queen rearing, buy and sell honey to name a few.