Sajib says in his third year of beekeeping, he sold honey worth nearly Tk18 lakh
The abundance of mass-flowering crops and different seasonal fruits in Pirujali village in Gazipur Sadar upazila have led local young entrepreneurs to realize the lucrative prospect that lies in beekeeping.
Sajib Alam Khan is one such successful beekeeper, who now wishes to leave his current profession as a readymade garment worker, and dedicate all his time and efforts to beekeeping for its myriad advantages.
Sajib says in the third year of beekeeping he sold honey worth nearly Tk18 lakh from 55 of his artificial hives. The one-time cost of making a hive and filling it with bees is Tk3,500 each, says Sajib.
During the flowering season of mass-flowering crops, the hives are taken in different areas and kept there for a minimum of 20 days. Sajib has three people working for him who shift the hives in different places and feed the bees to prevent starvation.
Sajib named his beekeeping farm "Suchona and Suchi Mou Khamar."
"In my first year, I started beekeeping with five hives. From then onwards, I started maintaining 55 hives. Each year I collect 40kg of honey from each box and production reaches its peak during the summer fruit seasons," said Sajib.
"As bees can have a fatal sting, we don’t have to fear that someone would steal our hives. Abu Naser Khan from my village was inspired by my beekeeping. He bought 10 hives from me and is thinking of increasing the number of hives," Sajib added.
Before stepping into beekeeping Sajib took training in this sector from the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation in Gazipur.
Like Sajib, Giyas Uddin is another successful beekeeper who currently has 110 hives and also began farming honey three years ago. "Initially I began honey farming as a hobby. But as it’s profitable I am thinking of continuing with it."
"Giant pharmaceutical companies in the country buy honey from us. They are our top buyers,’’ added Giyas.
Sirajul Islam, a trader at a pharmacy in Pirujali area said locally produced honey is being sold in every shop in Pirujali.
Abdul Khalek, a former Union Parishad member, says beekeeping has been lucrative for several youths in Pirujali. They were inspired after seeing the success of each other.
Mahboub Alam, deputy director of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Gazipur said the number of flowers generally increases 15% to 20% where mass-flowering crops like mustards are cultivated.
"Beekeepers are being benefited from selling their honey after meeting the local demand. It also helps the farmers through pollination. If beekeeping is expanded across the country the nation will be financially benefited in the future."