FTB Stories

Beekeeping in India: Producing honey, Selling honey and a trusted Advisor

Amit Bhatt
Amit Bhatt
Mohan with a frame from his Box

Mohan Prajapati is a beekeeping expert and honey producer from Jharkhand. He was recently interviewed by Ponam Bisakarma of Krishi Jagran. He is from Chatra district and learnt the bee keeping farming from the local Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK). They were trying to promote honey production and gave practical demonstration on it. KVK even provided him with the bee keeping boxes. 

What he does

We started by asking him to describe what he does and how he does it. He said, most of the businessmen want genuine product and they are shown the bee keeping boxes and the process. They convince them that this product is pure and homemade honey, which has good demand in the market and will earn them good profit.

He said he takes his boxes to where the flowers are, for example he regularly takes his boxes to mustard farms, in the blooming season. He keeps the boxes in these farms till flowers are growing and he regularly observes his boxes to see if the honey is ready. He takes the ready honey in the frame to the machinery. He has to wear mask and gloves to clear the frame of the bees You need to add contents from 4 frames to the machine which then produces the honey. He is confident about the quality of honey he produces. 

Moving contents of frame to the Machine

He grows vegetables and grains as a side business, with his main business of bee keeping. He believes that honey production is beneficial. So, a number of local farmers having seen him succeed have decided to start honey production as a side business with their farming. He continues that alongside growing tomatoes or grains like paddy or wheat you must produce honey. 

We asked him where he sells his honey, to which he replied that he sells most of his honey at the Pratappur market, which is closest to him. The traders trust him as provider of high-quality honey. Just as his farm produce sells at a rate higher than other farmers, his honey too sells at a higher margin. His name Mohan is a brand which is well trusted in the town. 

Honey from the Machine

Why bee keeping

We asked him next why he chose bee keeping, to which he replied because of the benefits of honey, as a food item. He has never faced any issues in his chosen line of work. He likes his work and has tried to promote it to his fellow farmers. He has been successful and everyone wants to emulate him. He next showed us a jar of his pure honey, which he has packed himself. He said you need to invest 2 hours of a day in the week to see the condition your box, bees and honey are in. You invest less time and earn more money. 

We asked him if he wants to sell and promote his honey to more markets. He said he wants to sell his honey statewide and is working on the promotion and marketing. KVK has said that if there is excess production of honey, they will hold a meeting and the District Officer has assured them that all of their honey will be sold to wider markets. 

Family Support

We asked him next if he is supported by his family members in this business, he said apart from him, 4 members of his family work with him not only in bee keeping but also in farming of crops. If they have some spare time to come and help him, they always do. The local women's group has approached him as they are also want to produce honey. He is very happy that these women want to do this type of work. He has demonstrated the entire process to them and he even provides support over WhatsApp. 

He then described his product to us. His containers hold one and a half Kgs of honey, which he showed us again. He also has 50 Kgs containers which are used for selling honey in bulk. He has named his honey "Mohan Product", and he hopes that the entire Chatra district will know this brand name soon. His vegetables and other crops also fall under this brand name. 

Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) and KVK were the main sources of his initial information and education in bee keeping. He attended a 6-day session at the KVK, and was told that with good quality honey you can make good money. 

Conclusion

He and his family are very happy with the progress they and the local community has made with bee keeping. We requested him to give a message to his fellow farmers on FTB and he said farmers will be encouraged more by demonstration and practicals will remove any inhibitions they have. He hopes to raise awareness about bee keeping through farmers groups and women’s groups. He said the more persons from his family work on it, greater will be the size of their operations. He said he has helped a number of bee keepers locally, not only by training them but also supporting them in any difficulties. For example, once he was contacted over WhatsApp by a women’s group, asking for help, and after observing for a minute he was able to tell that the honey was not ready. He likes to share information   and is learning with experience. Please click here to see the video.

Mohan Bajapati

Mohan Bajapati

Chatra , Jharkhand

Mohan's honey

Like this article?

Hey! I am Amit Bhatt. Did you liked this article and have suggestions to improve this article? Mail me your suggestions and feedback.

Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters