What you need to know:
- Beekeeping can be a profitable hobby or business venture, and it is fairly affordable to start up.
- Beatrice Nakibuuka spoke with Julius Ayebale about the enterprise.
- Ayebale says with proper management, a hive can turn a profit machine relatively quickly, especially if the beekeeper is willing to consider all the potential streams of revenue.
Beekeeping has become popular in the past and continues among the most trending agribusinesses as it has become more profitable.
While honey is the obvious source of income for beekeepers, there are could be other things connected to beekeeping from which you can earn some good money according to Julius Ayebale, a farmer in Rubanda District. Below are some of the many ways you can earn money if you start bee keeping.
This is the most obvious yield from beekeeping and it is a highly marketable product because it has gained popularity among many consumers. They often use it in the place of refined sugar which makes it a healthier option.
At times Ayebale harvest up to five jerry cans of honey from his 60 hives.
He puts enough water for the bees to make more hone as well as pineapple and yellow banana peels in his apiary so that the bees do not have to go far away looking for them and these help in the formation of sweeter honey.
He sells each kilogramme at Shs10,000 when on bulk purchases and Shs1,000 per spoonful.
Martabell Akoth, the sales executive Bee Natural Uganda says, after harvesting the honey there are combs that remain without honey called beeswax.
It is used primarily as a building block for the bees’ honeycomb cells in which the young ones are raised and honey and pollen stored. The wax can be converted into many different products including candles, soap, and lip balm. Beeswax prices can vary widely depending on its quality and colour.
Ayebale sells a kilogramme of bee wax at Shs500. The wax can be used as wax sheets for hive baits, bees wax blocks for sale and making candles, floor polish and skin care products.
Propolis or bee glue is a sticky mixture that honey bees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax with exudate gathered from tree buds, sap flows and other botanical sources.
The propolis is said to have a variety of medical uses including treatment of sores, bone diseases, acting as an antioxidant used in the prevention of cancer, and boosting immunity. Akoth says, the propolis can be used to treat warts and may help in the treatment of food poisoning. Because of the many advantages, propolis alone ensures a farmer earns more cash than honey. Akoth says she sells each litre of propolis at Shs30,000.
Why propolis is profitable
“Because of its antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, propolis has an outstanding value for a wide variety of illnesses. It is also used as ointments for healing cuts and wounds. This is where the money is,” said Tony Okello of Lira District. Last season Okello made a profit of Shs8m from selling propolis.
Bee pollen granules are a “super food” that can boost immunity and provide other health-related benefits such as minimising seasonal allergies, treating osteoporosis, and acting as an antioxidant.
Bee pollen is growing in popularity at natural food stores, health stores, and some drugstores. Akoth says that one can get royal jelly which is the queen bee’s extraordinary source of food.