keeping has become a lucrative business. This is as a result of the huge demand for natural honey and its byproducts that make the business attractive to both young and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Bee farming, which is also known as ‘Apiculture’, is practiced around the world, and can be a source of nutrition while providing valuable source of income to bee farmers and people in developing regions with relatively little investment.
Honey, one of the products derived from bees, is regarded as the most popular natural sweetener in the world and the global trade in bee products is worth billions of dollars.
As a result of its diverse uses, the worldwide consumption of honey is so huge that supply can hardly cope with demand. Even Nigeria and South Africa prove to be the large markets for bee products but the two countries cannot still meet demand.
Daily Sun learnt that Nigeria alone consumes about 380,000 tonnes of honey, a current global price of about $4.5 billion and that is just domestic consumption of honey. This figure has not even reflected in the amount of honey that goes into industrial production, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bee Keeping Pollination Project Coordinator, Mr. David Musa, Nigeria can generate over $10 billion from local and international trade in honey and other hive products if properly harnessed. He said there is need for Nigeria to get honey export certification from the European Union (EU), adding that it would give credibility to the forthcoming largest Africa Apiculture Trade to be hosted by Nigeria this year.
Musa believes that the economic prospects of the apiculture industry is as high as global yearly production of raw honey, which is about 1.4 million tonnes. Value in current global dollar rate at $5,000 per metric tonne is $7 billion while total yearly value of the global apiculture industry is $230 billion (N40 trillion).
Honeybees provide a wide range of benefits to humans including honey, other bee products, pollination of food crops and ecological services. As demand for natural honey increases, it has become effectual in curing ailments such as cardiovascular diseases, heart problems, high blood pressure, cancer and eye problems.
Apart from honey derived from bees, there are other products you get from bees, which include beeswax, pollen, propolis, bee venom, royal jelly, among others. Beeswax is used for furniture polish, candles and crayons while pollen is being used for food, cosmetics, preparation of medicine and hand pollination. Meanwhile, propolis is also used for repairs of the honeycombs while venom is used for preparing medicine and the royal jelly is food for queen bees, etc.