Article Mr. Dinkar Patil - Thrives with three-vertical bee-keeping business

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    editorialteam Active Member Staff Member

    Thrives with three-vertical bee-keeping business, spreads awareness on prospective future


    Bee-keeping is not limited to producing and selling honey! Potential to earn name and fame from this business is unlimited. Mr. Dinkar Patil, progressive bee-keeper from Latur district, Maharashtra has been engaged in rearing bee from past 11 years. He could attain prosperity in his life by rearing bees and applying his knowledge in the right direction. Breeding honey bees, pollination and selling honey are three main operation of his apiculture unit. He shares the details on these three verticals of his business and future plans. Excerpts:
    Dinkar Patil.jpg
    Mr. Dinkar Patil

    Bee-keeping has changed my life for good! Initially I started rearing bees with only one box. Later as I progressed in this field I kept acquiring knowledge and mastering the intricacies of this business. Now my entire year is logged with three different operations: breeding: August-October, honey: November-February, pollination: March-July.


    Breeding: It is a three month activity. In this period I develop bee colonies in the wooden box and sell it to other bee-keepers. In one box there are 15 thousand bees. I sell one box along with the bees at Rs. 4500. On an average I develop 1500 boxes every year and all are sold 100%. Demand of honey bees is increasing but the industry is not blooming! Reason being the first time bee keepers starts the business only after attending one-day workshop that is completely theoretical and lack the practical aspect entirely. Subsequently they incur losses and tag bee-keeping as loss-making venture!
    Dinkar Patil with honey box.jpg

    To resolve the issue, from last two year I have included one mandatory condition on the sale of the bees colonies that all the buyers have to take residential training (free of cost) at my place. They are given hands-on learning during their stay. Slight positive change is visible with this new rule. I did it because I want to develop the farming sector with bee keeping. There is so much to be done in Indian apiculture industry. We haven’t tapped even 10% of its potential!


    Pollination: Bees are the true friends of the farmer as they are excellent pollinators. It assists in natural pollination in the farmers’ field. Pollination refers to transfer of pollen grains that result in formation of fruit. It is done from March till July, the main flowering period. I have been doing some significant quantum of work in pomegranate orchards and onion-seed farms to boost the production. Pomegranate trees are believed to the pollinate themselves but the results are very poor! Therefore bees enhance cross pollination of male and female flowers thereby sets the fruits on the trees. Consequently the production surely increases by 80-90%.
    Real Honey.jpg

    In one acre pomegranate orchard, one box having 15-16 thousand bees is kept for 20-25 days during the flowering stage. The charges of same are 1000-1200 per box (transportation extra). Here as well I provide complete training to the farmer on the general management for cross pollination. This guidance is also given free of cost because I can’t earn money by deceiving the farmers! It is better that colonies are kept for pollination in a big cluster of farmland. I encourage the farmers to group together and ask for the boxes because then results are still much better. Bees get much longer stretch to move around and boost the production. Annually my bee boxes are kept in atleast 1000 plus farms.


    I have a tie-up with companies for cross pollination in onion seeds. It is done in open cultivation as well as greenhouses/polyhouses. In case on onion seed farm, the bee boxes are kept in the farm for more than 30 days. Other than these two crops we also keep boxes in farms having sunflower, mustard and berry (jamun) cultivation for increasing the yield. Bee-keeping is ideal for all fruits and seed crops to augment the production.


    Honey: I travel extensively to collect best quality honey. It is then filtered and sold ‘raw’ keeping the natural crop flavor intact. In the beginning for 7-8 years I used to sell honey to other processors but their demand declined to 7 kg and production increased at my apiary to 25-30 kg. Therefore I established Gouri Natural Food company and started selling the raw honey under the brand name ‘Real Honey’. It is marketed and sold across Maharashtra. The taste and nutrient content is superior so response is encouraging. I am expecting to reach other states as well by next year. Mustard, sunflower, ajwain (bishop's weed or carom called in English), coriander and jamun flavors are receiving good response int he market.


    These three activities are my business operations in bee-keeping. The field offers many more areas of commercial activities such as training, equipments and machinery supply, hone box manufacturing and so on. Bee-keeping will never lead to losses if done with full commitment as well as in organized way. There are ample of work and growth opportunities unexplored and untapped! Only prerequisite to attain success in bee keeping is to start the business with good practical training and then keep accomplishing new heights!

    (As told to Mamatha S R)


    Contact details:
    Gauri Natural Foods
    Godown No 4, Industrial Estate Chakur, Tahasil Chakur, Latur district, Maharashtra – 413 513
    Phone: 09637135284
    Email: dinkarpatil1970@gmail.com
     

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