To ‘bee’ Anoop, just follow these success tips

Anoop Baby Sam with his father Baby at their apiary. Photo: Special arrangement

It is said that the farm is an arena of experiments. Here, failure is routine but there are some who work hard on the failures to come out successful. Anoop Baby Sam’s Bee Garden experiment in Pathanamthitta’s Chittar is one such story.
After his engineering, Anoop spent Rs 12000 to procure 10 ‘bee boxes’ for his apiary venture. This was 10 years ago.

Anoop’s father Baby had been rearing bees in small numbers for years. This was Anoop’s sole exposure to beekeeping. Starting out without any scientific knowledge, Anoop’s initial attempt ended in failure. He lost seven out of the 10 boxes. Anoop persevered and learned from experience. A decade later, the number of boxes has grown from 10 to 550 and the production is at five tons.

Beekeeping is not just stacking apiary boxes. There are numerous aspects to know: the care of the bees, their division, the right time and method for honey extraction, etc. There are trainings offered by organisations like the Horti Corp and Khadi Board.

Harvesting honey from bee boxes is not a simple task. From the moment the boxes are placed until the honey is collected and the boxes are closed again, there are numerous aspects that require attention. One must know the correct way to open the boxes, the important considerations when placing the honey chamber above the brood chamber, and the essential tools needed for honey extraction, says Anoop.

In beekeeping, Anoop says, one can start earning profits in three months. That means one can start beekeeping just before the honey season by procuring 10 boxes. This is a manageable proposition for working individuals, too. From these 10 boxes, one can expect to harvest 80–100 kg of honey annually. By the end of the year, this honey can be sold locally at a rate of Rs. 300–400 per kg, allowing a modest return within a single season, he says.

Additionally, Anoop also markets raw and unprocessed honey. He uses specially made boxes kept inside the apiary to collect raw honey. This is sent to customers on demand.

Anoop’s business ventures extend beyond just honey and allied products. He also sells bee boxes containing live bees. For those interested, couriers such bee boxes and ensures that the bees reach their new owners safely. Once the bees are back in the boxes by sunset, Anoop carefully seals the lid and openings. Anoop says the bees can remain unharmed for up to a week. He says he successfully shipped small bee colonies to places as far as Delhi.

Anoop's approach is to sell honey and honey products directly, bypassing middlemen. This ensures that the full retail price goes directly to the producer. He actively promotes his products on social media platforms, too. This direct-to-consumer model not only increases his profits but also allows customers to purchase products directly from him, ensuring they get genuine, high-quality goods. 

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