Of bees and the sweet business of pure organic honey
The Hive Group is the leading cutting edge supplier of modern commercial beekeeping equipment in The African Continent and has for years invested highly in research, innovation and training to ensure that the most modern and appropriate technologies for the African Bee are provided to the beekeepers in Africa.
It currently has operations in Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan, Burkina Faso and Kenya.
From its vast experience, it recently designed and launched the most modern beehive called the CAB Hive that is specifically designed for the African Bee. It has so far attracted a lot of interest in all of Africa and African beekeepers have begun to get commendable yields such as 6 – 9 times honey harvest yielding in excess of 600Kgs of honey annually.
The CAB hive has two components, the bottom or brooding chamber where the queen lives with the workers and the top or super chamber where honey is stored. The hives are made from quality hard wood and have a life span of more than 20 years.
Bees travel and live in colonies. Each colony has one queen who lays the eggs, the worker bees which are responsible for scouting and looking for ideal homes, guarding the hive, collecting nectar and pollen, making honey among other duties , the drones whose main role is to fertilize the queen.
Each CAB hive carries 10 frames and each frame can hold a kilogram of honey. Each hive can produce between 10-12 kilograms of honey per harvest. In a year, 60 kilograms of honey can be harvested from one hive.
Business Development Manager Vian Rudasingwa notes that once the hives are installed, it takes between 4 to 6 months for beekeeper to achieve their first harvest. Once it is harvested, one is able to harvest again after every two months. Honey is harvested six times in a year on average.
The Hive Group also offers bee keeping management services as a product. In this service, its various Companies provides all the required bee keeping infrastructure (in the inception of the project) such as; Professional Apiary construction (resistant to the destructive pests e.g. Honey badgers, red ants, desert ants etc), Quality treated Bee hives (20 years + guarantee), Honey extractors, smokers, hive tools, bee brush, protective gears, refractometers, bottling, signage etc.
The company sells beekeepers starter kits which consist of 10 or 5 CAB hives with all other accessories including foundations sheets, 2 bee suits and gloves, a smoker, hive tool, an extractor, bee brush, uncapping fork, pair of strainers for sieving extracted honey, a practical guide and one day training seminar in the field.
It offers regular apiary inspection and provides continuous training to the beekeepers on modern ways of beekeeping. The concepts are based on enhancing commercial and environmental sustainability in beekeeping with Return on Investment (ROI) achieved in less than a year and half.
“The group also completes the value chain, by purchasing, collection and processing all the bee products such as comb honey, propolis, royal Jelly, wax, sting venom and pollen from all the farmers to whom it supplies equipment and services which are then processed into high quality end products. We are assured of a constant supply of honey from the farmers,” says Vian.
They are exclusive dealers of the products as they do not stock in retail stores and supermarkets. For those who know quality, it is normal for pure honey to crystalize.
The Hive has been working with over 100 farmers in rural Uganda. This ensures quality as the bees get nectar from natural habitat unlike in town where the environment is contaminated with garbage heaps thus compromising on the quality of the honey. The company has witnessed 15 per cent growth in sales from new clients.
Beekeeping does not require maintenance after being set up and colonized by bees. Compared to other agribusinesses, beekeeping does not require high operating costs and is easy to manage with support from the company’s well trained and highly qualifies apiarists.
The reason why most beekeepers get poor quality honey from their apiaries is mainly because of the use of traditional low tech equipment that cannot achieve proper honey extraction and necessary sanitation required in honey production standards. By using The Hive equipment you will not only eliminate this problem but will also be able to achieve volumes that would make the business viable and sustainable.