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Beyond Crops: Bihar Farmer Aatmanand Singh's Honey Business Stings the Traditional Mold

Aatmanand Singh, hailing from a family with a rich tradition of beekeeping, uses unique agricultural approach to reap sweet rewards of his beekeeping venture.

KJ Staff
Aatmanand Singh, a graduate, hails from a family with a rich tradition of beekeeping.
Aatmanand Singh, a graduate, hails from a family with a rich tradition of beekeeping.

Today, we explore the story of Aatmanand Singh, a farmer from Gausali village in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar. Singh has shifted from conventional crop cultivation to beekeeping and is now reaping the sweet rewards of his unconventional venture.

Beekeeping Legacy

Aatmanand Singh, a graduate, hails from a family with a rich tradition of beekeeping. He is the third generation actively involved in this profession. Singh shared that his grandfather initiated the family into beekeeping, and his father continued the legacy, successfully managing the business. Today, he has taken it to new heights, demonstrating the potential of beekeeping in modern agriculture.

Awards and Recognition

Acknowledging his dedication and contributions to the honey production sector, Singh has received several accolades. Despite having the capacity to maintain around 1200 beehives annually, unforeseen weather fluctuations have reduced his current inventory to 900 beehives. He attributes this decline to the adverse effects of this year's monsoon, impacting the honeybee colonies.

Challenges in the Honey Market

Beekeeping is a seasonal business, and Singh points out that the honeybee box prices fluctuate with the season. He emphasised that starting this venture required personal initiative, as he received no external assistance. He explained that beekeeping demands constant attention, with challenges arising due to market dynamics, such as the fluctuating demand and prices of honey.

Branding Success

Undeterred by challenges, Singh not only focuses on honey production but has also established a brand named "Reepi Honey," registered under his wife's management. The brand caters to bulk sales, engaging with major companies like Dabur and Patanjali. With approximately 1200 boxes, Singh yields 50-60 kilograms of honey per box, showcasing the scale and success of his honey production venture.

Honey Market Dynamic

Further, Singh sheds light on the current market scenario, indicating a challenging period for honey producers. The prevailing market conditions have led to a decrease in honey prices, affecting the income of beekeepers. He emphasises the prevalence of counterfeit honey in the market, with nearly half of the produced honey being fake, causing significant losses to genuine beekeepers like him.

Quality Matters

Highlighting the deceptive practices in honey production, Singh notes that many companies adulterate their honey to cut costs. Genuine honey, he explains, is thinner in consistency compared to the popular perception of thick syrup-like honey. Companies exploit this misconception, adding substances to thicken the product. He stresses the importance of promoting and exporting high-quality honey produced in the country.

Beekeeping Challenges and Returns

Singh shares insights into the annual expenses incurred in beekeeping, ranging from one-time investments in bee boxes to ongoing costs for maintenance and labor. These costs are subject to market dynamics, making it a challenging venture. Despite the challenges, Singh's annual income hovers around 40 lakhs, generating profits ranging from 10 to 15 lakhs.

Singh's journey from traditional farming to successful beekeeping showcases the potential for diversification in agriculture. His story serves as an inspiration for farmers looking to explore alternative avenues, contributing not only to their income but also to the agricultural landscape of the nation. As the agricultural sector evolves, Singh's success underscores the importance of embracing innovation for sustainable farming practices.

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