Dhaliwal Honey Farm – suppliers of bee pollen and other by-products

Supplements farm revenues by focusing on sale of by-products

“Bee keeping is the money spinning business! I say so because in this business, bee keeper generates income not only from selling honey but also from by-products such as bee pollen, beeswax, propolis, royal jelly, venom and of course queens, bees and their larvae. Amongst all these by-products, bee pollen is a power pack of nutrients that is boon for human beings. Presently awareness on the health benefits from bee pollen is negligible in India and so the bee keepers also are unable to tap its potential. Being in this business since 1997 I too was ignorant about bee pollen sales prospects but my Europe tour in 2016 opened new doors of growth and expansion. On my return, I started packing and marketing bee pollen. It has improved my revenues,” reveals Mr. Narpinder Singh Dhaliwal. He manages his family farm, Dhaliwal Honey Farm located at Chuharchak village, Moga district, Punjab. European bee/ Italian bee (Apis mellifera) is reared at the farm. This bee species is less prone to swarming and performs well.
Beekeeper Narpinder Singh 😇
Honey bees gather the pollen of the plants in the basket (corbiculae) present on the tibia of their hind legs. These are called as pollen loads. Bees collect pollen because it is a raw material from which bee bread is produced for the larvae in the hives. The pollen is mixed with a small dose of the secretion from salivary glands or nectar and is placed in pollen loads.

When asked about stealing the food of bees, Mr. Narpinder clarifies, “Worker bee gathers bee pollen for bee larvae in the hive hence we do not collect if fully. We definitely do not want to hamper the abundance of bee population in the boxes for a small gain on bee pollen. Therefore the pollens are collected without disturbing the life of the hive using a pollen trap.”
Beekeeper Narpinder Singh (L) selling honey and bee pollen
Pollen trap is placed at the entrance of honey bee boxes in a way that every bee flies through the trap. When the bees fly through the trap, some pollen falls off their legs onto the wire mesh at the bottom of the trap. “It is roughly around one-third of the pollen stored in the pollen load of the bee. The bee pollen is then collected from the pollen trap every day. We do it in a responsible way ensuring the nutritional need of the colony is intact,” he highlights. Bee pollen of mustard and melliferous are sold at Rs. 2000/kg.

Bee pollen collection and sale is relatively new activity of Dhaliwal Honey Farm. Other routine operations are bee rearing, supplying bee colonies and hives to the government agencies, honey production and sale. At the moment Mr. Narpinder is having one thousand bee boxes. To collect superior quality honey he travels to neighbouring states of Punjab, in particular Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir. “We are able to obtain 25-40 kg honey from one colony/box. Sometimes we also get more than 40kg depending on the strength of the bees and quality of flowers. We are producing three variant of honey in particular mustard, litchi and melliferous. Further we have two categories crystallized and non-crystallized. The former is sold to the companies for exports while the later is processed and sold in domestic market under our brand name ‘Dhaliwal Honey’,” he adds. In retail the processed honey is sold at Rs. 300/kg while the bulk sale to the companies is made at Rs. 150/kg. Commonly the honey production and sale season is November-February.
Bee Pollen
“So far Punjab bee keeping industry has been dominated by honey but we have expanded our production and sales focus on by-products. Bee pollen sale is slowly picking up and now we are upgrading our knowledge on royal jelly and propolis,” he asserts.

Mr. Narpinder insists on taking formal training and experience before starting a commercial apiary unit. “Undoubtedly beekeeping is a promising business but it requires technical expertise for getting the desired success. For example it is essential to safeguard the bee colonies from the attack of mites.
Tracheal Mites traps the wings of bee due to which it cannot fly and crawls in front of the hive, Parasitic Mite Varroa feeds on early stage of lava and prepupa thereby reduces the bee population and lastly Brood Mite (also called as Tropilaelaps clareae) attack the brood and cause larval death, adversely affecting bee populace. Similarly the bee colonies must be given lot of attention and care from any disease attack. It is necessary to ensure good look after of the bees because healthier the bee colonies wealthier is the beekeeper.”
Bee Pollen ready for sale
Speaking of challenges he says, “Beekeeping is still looked down as harmful for farming. Secondly forest area is decreasing day by day. Deforestation and reduction in agricultural land is a serious threat to apiculture.”

Apiculture is an intrinsic part of agriculture as it helps in food production directly and indirectly. “In European countries the technology practiced is much advanced as compared to India. If we upgrade ourselves then our country can shine bright in International market as we are rich in man-power and have ability to learn quickly. Further beekeeper must supplement their income through the sale of by-products!” he concludes.

Contact details:
Dhaliwal Honey Farm
Farm Address: Chuharchak village, Tehsil and District Moga, Punjab
Phone: +91 9417423111
Email: narpinder_4u@yahoo.com
Web: http://www.dhaliwalhoneyfarm.apnikheti.co.in/

Honey Kart – quits Wipro to become a beekeeper!

Once a software engineer now a beekeeper, turns down promotion and onsite job in United States for entrepreneurship!

“I was a software engineer in Wipro Technologies, Bangalore. I resigned my job to do beekeeping at my home town Karur District, Tamil Nadu. I produce the rarest form of uni-floral honey products and sell it online through my own website www.honeykart.com,” says Mr. Krishnamurthy Sanaparatti Palanisamy, Founder.

Mr. Krishnamurthy is a 2007 engineering graduate in communication. He worked with Wipro Technologies as a programmer. After working for two years, he was offered a promotion and onsite job in United States. “That was the day, I took the toughest decision to quit the job, return home, and become an entrepreneur,” he says.

He insists he didn’t leave Wipro but left his IT profession because, “City life didn’t suit me so I came out,” and adds, “Initially I did some share trading business but didn’t gain much and finally decided to invest my money in my own business rather than investing in others.”

Bitten by the entrepreneurship bug Mr. Krishnamurthy did one year vigorous search and then decided to produce and sell honey, “I found that beekeeping is very important for agriculture, horticulture and forestry but it wasn’t practiced properly in Tamil Nadu,” he adds. This was the beginning of his life as a beekeeper.

Honey Kart was established at Aravakuruchi Taluk, Karur District,Tamil Nadu with the capital investment of Rs. 3 lakhs funded by his friends Krishnaraj, Arun and Prabhu.

Business that looks rosy after its profits are revealed surely is full of thorns during its initial start and so was it for this scientific beekeeper. “3 years ago, my first year in beekeeping was very tough. I didn’t even earn a single rupee. I found many problems in bees and was not able to solve it immediately,” he shares.

None of information received from beekeeping experts, whom he met in person help to solve the problems. With a ‘not-to-give-up attitude’ Mr. Krishnamurthy took to internet and contacted beekeepers within and outside India. He gathered lot of tips from internet and steadily solved all the problems in beekeeping one by one during each seasonal change. “Now I have disease free colonies working at its best, which is important to produce high-quality honey,” he adds.

Mr. Krishnamurthy didn’t take the usual route to beekeeping and instead he brought the difference with his innovative skills and developed unifloral honey varieties that were never existing in India. He calls himself a scientific beekeeper because he uses advanced beekeeping technique. “I direct the honey bees to a particular flora and collect honey from same flora in order to produce unifloral honey namely drumstick, coriander, glory lily, mango, sesame, jamun, sunflower, banana, and neem,” he says and adds, “No two unifloral honey will have the same taste, smell, colour and moisture content. For example sunflower honey will be golden yellow while mango honey will be maroon in colour.”

Detailing further he says, “Bees were invented in nature for pollination of plants. It carries pollen from male flower and honey from female flower to their hives, as both these items are their food. After collecting pollen, they visit female flower to collect nectar (honey), and the pollen from the bees’ body is transferred to female flower while it collects honey. Thus pollination happens.”

Inspection of bees health

It is the natural behaviour of the bees not to transfer pollen from male flower of one plant variety to female flower of other plant variety and vice versa. “I use this behaviour of bees to collect honey from same flora by keeping the hives in the vast cultivation of single flora,” he says and adds, “When sufficient honey (bee flora) is made available from a single floral variety plants, the bees will not go to other flora until the nectar secretion of the existing flower is stopped.” This helps in producing unifloral honey.

Special benefit is, “When ayurvedic medicines are taken along with the unifloral honey it gives best results. Most of my customers are taking ayurvedic medicines and are quite happy with the outcomes,” he claims.
Other than unifloral honey variants Mr. Krishnamurthy’s another innovation is ‘honey for babies less than 12 months age’. He informs, “This honey is collected from new combs and extra care is taken for processing; hence it is resistant to all sorts of allergies or side effects in babies.” Honey for Babies can be made from any flowering plants with only one requisite that the honey comb should be newly constructed by the bees. “This honey is obtained in the beginning of honey flow season where the bees make new combs for the next one year,” he informs.

Honey production depends on the bees’ strength. “I will collect 6kgs in 6 days from one hive provided enough bee flora is available. The raw honey collected is processed later. Usually Mr. Krishnamurthy processes 200 kg/day. He stores the processed honey in cans and based on orders the honey is packed in glass or food grade pet bottles. Beekeeper recommends to the consumers to store honey in air-tight jars.
Shelf life of packed honey bottles is 5 years while once opened it stays for 2 years. Commonly honey is packed in 250 gms bottles but courier packing (for home delivery) is completely different.

All honey products are sold through company’s website www.honeykart.com and Facebook page www.facebook.com/honeykart. Website provides details on health benefits of each unifloral honey. Approximate cost of unifloral honey is Rs. 716/kg. Honey for Babies is priced more. Buyers can even opt for home delivery option within India. “Most of customers are from Bangalore and Chennai. Due to my honey quality, 90% of buyers become regular customers,” he informs.

It is an established fact that beekeeping helps in crop yield increase (approximately by 30%) through pollination. Hence Mr. Krishnamurthy’s beekeeping venture is turning out as a boon for farmers in Tamil Nadu. He shares, “Many farmers from various districts in Tamil Nadu call me to place my bee hives in their farm for pollination purpose. During flowering season, I keep my beehives in their agriculture farm for free of cost, and once the flowering season is finished I bring back my hives after harvesting honey. I am benefited by honey produce and farmers by the extra 30% crop yield. It is a win-win business for both of us.”
Technical training on beekeeping is also provided on nominal charges.

He plans to double the honey production this year and adds, “South India is famous for spices and herbs and most of these are flower producing plants. I want to try my hands on these flavours as this cannot be produced elsewhere in the world. I want to explore our nature.”

Presentaion given at Sethu Institute of Technology Madurai on title 'Need for Entrepreneurship'

Following his heart Mr. Krishnamurthy has attained success and now enjoys stress-free life. Being an entrepreneur himself he strongly feels the country needs power of entrepreneurship. After seeing his success and attitude he is invited by colleges to encourage youth. “While giving lectures on “Entrepreneurship” to college students I noticed that the students love to listen from an entrepreneur himself and this indirectly encourages me as well,” he shares and concludes, “I have to sketch down a plan to earn enormously through genuine beekeeping practice because I need to become a role model to start-up entrepreneurs that a lot can be earned when you become an entrepreneur!”

Contact details-
Honey Kart
Scientific Beekeeping Farms
Aravakuruchi, Pin:639201
Karur-district, Tamil Nadu, India
Mobile: 91503 70525
Email: honeykart@hotmail.com
Website: www.honeykart.com, www.facebook.com/honeykart