How to Start Honey Bee Farming in India 2023-24

Starting a honey bee farming business in India can be a rewarding venture both financially and environmentally

Honey production not only provides a valuable product but also contributes to pollination benefiting agriculture and biodiversity. Here a step by step guide to help you get bee farming in india started

Research and Education

  • Start by learning about beekeeping honey bee species and their behaviour. Consider taking a course or attending workshops on beekeeping
  • Read books articles and online resources about beekeeping in India
  • Join local beekeeping associations or forums to connect with experienced beekeepers

Location and Hive Placement

  • Choose an appropriate location for your bee farm. Ideally it should have access to nectar and pollen sources like flowering plants fruit trees and crops
  • Ensure the area is free from pesticides and other chemicals harmful to bees
  • Place your hives in a sunny location with some shade in the afternoon as bees prefer moderate temperatures

Obtain Necessary Permissions

  • Check with your local agriculture department or relevant authorities for any permits or licenses required for beekeeping in your area

Selecting Honey Bee Species

  • In India the most commonly used honey bee species is the Indian honey bee (Apis cerana indica). You may also consider the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) for higher honey production

Acquire Equipment

  • Purchase the necessary beekeeping equipment including beehives frames protective clothing (bee suit veil gloves) smokers hive tools and extractors

Obtain Bees

  • You can obtain bees by purchasing bee packages or nucleus colonies from local bee breeders or other beekeepers
  • Alternatively you can capture wild swarms if you have the expertise

Set Up Your Hives

  • Assemble and set up your beehives according to the manufacturer instructions
  • Place frames with foundation wax in the hives for bees to start building their combs

Manage and Care for Your Bees

  • Regularly inspect your hives to ensure the health of your bee colonies
  • Provide supplemental feeding if necessary during lean nectar flow periods
  • Control pest and diseases through integrated pest management (IPM) practices

Harvesting Honey

  • Harvest honey when the bees have capped the comb cells indicating that the honey is ripe
  • Use an extractor to extract honey from the frames
  • Filter the extracted honey to remove impurities and store it in clean airtight containers

Marketing and Selling Honey

  • Develop a marketing plan for your honey including packaging and branding
  • Consider selling your honey at local markets through online platforms or to local stores and restaurants

Record Keeping and Business Management

  • Maintain detailed records of your beekeeping operations including hive inspections honey production and expenses
  • Manage your beekeeping business efficiently keeping track of finances and planning for expansion

Continuous Learning

  • Stay updated with the latest beekeeping practices and research to improve your bee farms productivity and sustainability

Remember that beekeeping can be a challenging endeavour that requires ongoing care and attention. Its essential to prioritise the health and well being of your bee colonies for sustainable honey production and the preservation of these valuable pollinators

Bee Farming in India Cost

How to Start Honey Bee Farming in India 2023-24

The cost of starting and running a bee farming (beekeeping) venture in India can vary widely depending on various factors including the scale of the operation location and the equipment and resources you choose. Here a general breakdown of the costs involved in bee farming in India

Equipment and Supplies

  • Beehives > The cost of beehives can vary based on the type and quality. Basic hives may cost around ₹1000 to ₹2000 each while high quality hives can be more expensive
  • Frames and foundation wax > Expect to spend around ₹50 to ₹100 per frame
    Protective gear: A bee suit veil gloves and other protective gear may cost approximately ₹1000 to ₹2000
  • Smokers hive tools and other beekeeping equipment > Budget around ₹1000 to ₹2000 for these items
  • Extractors and other processing equipment > These can vary widely in cost ranging from ₹5000 to ₹20000 or more depending on the capacity and quality


  • The cost of acquiring bee colonies can vary depending on the type of bees and whether you purchase packages nucleus colonies or wild swarms. On average you might spend ₹2000 to ₹5000 per colony or package

Site Preparation and Infrastructure

  • Costs for setting up the bee farm site including fencing shade structures and water sources can vary based on your location and existing infrastructure

Feeding and Medications

  • You may need to budget for supplemental feeding of bees during lean nectar flow periods. The cost of bee feed can vary

Training and Education

  • Attending beekeeping courses or workshops may involve fees

Operating Costs

  • These include costs related to bee colony management such as pest and disease control hive inspections and transportation

Marketing and Packaging

  • Costs associated with marketing and packaging your honey products can vary depending on your approach

Miscellaneous Expenses

  • Budget for unexpected expenses and contingencies

The total cost of starting a bee farming venture can range from ₹50000 to ₹200000 or more depending on the scale of your operation and the region in which you operate. Keep in mind that bee farming is a long term investment and profitability may take a few years to achieve depending on honey production and market conditions

Its essential to create a detailed business plan that outlines your specific goals and budgetary needs. Additionally seek advice from experienced beekeepers in your region to get a more accurate estimate of the costs involved in bee farming in your specific area

Government schemes for beekeeping

How to Start Honey Bee Farming in India 2023-24

The Indian government has introduced several schemes and initiatives to promote beekeeping as part of its efforts to boost agriculture increase farmers income and enhance pollination services. These schemes provide financial assistance training and technical support to beekeepers. Here are some of the key government schemes for beekeeping in India

National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM)

  • The NBHM is a centrally sponsored scheme launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
  • It aims to promote beekeeping as an income generating activity for farmers and to increase honey production
  • Under this scheme financial assistance is provided to beekeepers for the establishment and management of bee colonies
  • Assistance is also given for the purchase of beekeeping equipment such as beehives frames and bee colonies
  • The scheme also supports the setting up of honey processing units and marketing infrastructure

Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)

  • RKVY is a scheme that aims to achieve sustainable agriculture growth
  • It includes provisions for promoting beekeeping as part of crop diversification and pollination enhancement
  • Financial support is provided for beekeeping training and capacity building

National Horticulture Mission (NHM)

  • NHM is a mission that aims to promote holistic growth of horticulture including fruits vegetables and flowers
  • Beekeeping is often integrated into horticulture practices to enhance pollination and increase crop yields
  • Farmers can receive financial support for beekeeping activities under this mission

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)

  • PMKSY focuses on improving water use efficiency in agriculture
  • Beekeeping is promoted as a complementary activity to agriculture and financial assistance may be provided to beekeepers

National Livestock Mission (NLM)

  • NLM includes components related to animal husbandry including beekeeping
  • It aims to promote scientific beekeeping practices and provide training to beekeepers

State Specific Initiatives

  • Many Indian states also have their own beekeeping promotion schemes and initiatives
  • These state level programs may offer additional incentives subsidies and support to beekeepers

Credit Support

  • Various financial institutions including nationalised banks offer loans and credit facilities to beekeepers for purchasing equipment and establishing bee colonies
  • Interest rate subsidies may be available for such loans

To take advantage of these government schemes for beekeeping interested individuals and beekeepers should contact the local agriculture department or horticulture department in their respective states. These departments can provide information on the specific schemes available eligibility criteria and the application process. Additionally beekeeping associations and cooperatives can be valuable sources of information and support in accessing government schemes for beekeeping

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