Honey production is such a viable business venture in Nigeria because it requires little capital. It also has huge potentials to grow from a small-scale into a large enterprise. Honey, itself and its by-product, beeswax are essential ingredients in many products in the skincare, food, medicinal industry. People are becoming more aware of the value and health benefits of this natural product. Honey is a hot-selling commodity not only locally but also in the international market. The market for honey keeps expanding every year. This allows for open business opportunities for those who want to go into honey production. Nigeria also has the perfect climatic conditions and environment for beekeeping and breeding which can be controlled by a commercial hvac installed.
Honey Business in Nigeria: How to Get Started
It is reported that only about 2,000 tons of beeswax and 16,000 tons of honey are produced a year in Nigeria. Yet, the consumption rate of honey is over 380,000 tonnes per annum. Nigeria also spends over N3 billion on the importation of honey from China, annually. Honey is an excellent export commodity because of its long shelf life.
The honey production business in Nigeria has therefore not been fully explored in spite of its multi-million dollar potential. If you are interested in starting up a low capital, yet lucrative agribusiness, you should consider this honey production business in Nigeria.
Honey production business involves beekeeping, extracting and then processing honey for its commercial value. Honey has a lot of economic and health value, making it a very lucrative agribusiness in many places around the world.
Honey is produced from bee species like the Western honey bee and the Eastern honey bee.
Beekeeping: Ripened nectar gathered in the sac of a bee is deposited into unused honeycomb cells. Other worker bees in the hive add more enzymes and enrich the deposits they ingest. Mature honey is placed back in the combs and capped with a light coating of beeswax. A bee colony can produce about 60-100 pounds of honey every year. Honey farmers take out full honeycombs then extract its content. Honey is processed through heating and further packaged in bottles.
Benefits of honey
In Nigeria, Honey is used as a healthy alternative to sugar by many people. The daily and different use of this natural product by so many people generate very high demand.
Facts and Benefits of the Honey Production Business
- The honey production business in Nigeria involves beekeeping and breeding
- Honey farmers extract honey with a honey extractor or by crushing the combs.
- Farmers use manual equipments for honey production on a small-scale. To produce honey on a large-scale involves the use of technological and mechanical devices.
- Raw and organic kinds of honey are yellowish and cloudy because of their low pasteurization levels.
- Honey production is a year-round venture.
- The wide-range industrial and domestic use of honey broadens its market annually.
- Honey production businesses are part-time or full-time venture options.
Starting a Honey Production Business in Nigeria:
The capital to start a honey business in Nigeria depends largely on the scale of operations and type of honey one wants to produce. Your personal savings or small loans can finance a small to medium scale honey production business in Nigeria.
Choose A Good Production Site:
Ensure you survey the area well. Select a production site only after you have considered its advantages and problems. Avoid areas that are waterlogged or infested by termite. For instance, a honey farmer who wants to produce organic honey has to be located in an area that is free from chemical pollution.
Beehives thrive in quiet and isolated areas with water and food (nectar) source within a 1-kilometre range. Note that the fewer distance bees have to travel to get nectar, the more honey they produce.
Register your Business and Product
Ensure you register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria. Get the approval of NAFDAC on your business is also necessary so as to certify that your product meets with health and quality control standards. You can also find and register yourself with any beekeeping and honey association in your state.
Find a reliable source to get your variety of Bee
In Nigeria, wild bees are the main source of honey production. You can get domesticated breeds from local bee farms or by importing western or eastern hybrids bees from other countries.
Pests and Diseases
Make sure to control and prevent pests and diseases such as:
- Pests; termites, hive beetle, wax moth
- Diseases; Viral and bacterial infections which negatively affect bees, decreasing the hives and honey production.
Obtain Raw Materials and Production Materials:
Raw materials and production materials are essential for the different operations on a honey farm
- Protective gloves and masked helmet: This is needed for the harvesting process. Before removing the combs, put on protective gloves and a masked helmet.
- An extractor or manual crushing which is used for the process of extracting
- Strainer: The extracted substance is strained to remove any beeswax particles.
- The extracted honey is heated to liquefy and purify honey.
A honey farm requires attention so as to maintain it. Hive farms should be visited at least once a week to keep an eye out for pests and diseases that can destroy hives and reduce productivity. Hives that are not in use should be cleaned and baited regularly to attract more bees. Ensure you check out for bees that can carry diseases and could infect the hive. Treat them immediately to avoid infestation.
Processing and Packaging
The processing of honey involves heating up tanks filled with honey. The crystals within the honey then melt and clear out impurities.
When packaging your product, ensure you creatively brand your product. It’s important to pay attention to the name, colour, and shape of the package. Plastic or glass bottles are the best containers for liquid sweeteners like honey. Quality products and good packaging attract consumers, which further increases sales.