Apiculture or Bee Keeping is a prominent business in many parts of the world including India. This is a commercial operation where large numbers of bees are kept and nurtured for extracting organic honey. The awareness about the goodness and benefits of organic honey is increasing and therefore, its demand as well.
People nowadays are more conscious about their health and they are replacing sugar with honey. Consequently, this is becoming a raging trend across the globe. In addition, bee keeping is also getting popular in both the developed and developing regions across the globe as a business model. The reasons are less initial investment requirement and stability. However, apiculture is not everyone’s cup of tea as the beekeeper has to develop a strong relation with the bees, let alone the risks involved while handling bees. This is a business that requires immense patients and trust-building.
Apiculture is directly related to the bees but the patience and nurturing required to get the desired results make it quite similar to agriculture and therefore, it is considered an agricultural activity. Since it is performed globally, apiculture is considered a global industry that has its own dynamics. The global honey market analysis suggests that the market is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.2 percent and is expected to maintain the same till 2020. The countries that account for approximately 60 percent of global production are India, China, Turkey, and Europe. These countries are also the largest exporters of organic honey whereas Germany, Japan, and the U.S. are major importers. China cannot be neglected in this aspect as it is the largest producer of organic honey but it is also of low-quality which makes it unpopular on a global level. Talking about the top global suppliers of organic honey, Lamex Foods, Dabur India Ltd., and Rowse Honey are the leading organizations.
The Untapped Potential of Honey Market:
The honey market is considered an untapped market or industry due to its underutilized potential. Many modern businessmen are trying to capitalize on the benefits offered by the honey business or bee keeping. However, there are certain factors that needs to keep in mind before entering into the bee keeping business.
Few of the critical factors are bee-human relationship, type and size of the bee farm, site of the farm, equipment, and marketing efforts. The site of the operation is a crucial factor as it determines the health and behavior of bees. An environment with high RH level impacts the bees in a negative way and it also affects the ripening of nectar. Opting for a shady and cool place is also necessary as it creates a positive environment for the bees.
Apart from these, specific equipment are also necessary for managing and maintaining a bee farm. This is to ensure that every day operations are going smoothly and the people operating the farm are not facing difficulty while handling the bees or extracting honey.
Talking about the commercial aspect of the business, apiculture has a lot to offer in both B2B and B2C perspectives. Small businesses can opt for selling honey in the local markets whereas large organizations can cater to the other businesses that require honey as a raw material. However, maintaining B2B relations is not easy as the entrepreneurs have to ensure that they are maintaining a stable supply of the honey to meet the continuous demand.
Collaborating with the farmers for the betterment of their crops is another way to boost a bee-keeping business. This is because bees help in pollination of different types of crops which in-turn is beneficial to both the farmers and nature in many aspects. The crops that are frequently pollinated by bees tend to improve their output both in terms of quantity and quality thereby helping nature, farmers and end users.
The Future of Honey Market:
Being the largest honey producing market, APAC holds approximately 41.2 percent of global market share. However, there has been a steady but continuous decline in the global honey output due to decrease in the population of honey bees. The factors like climate change, global warming, nionicotinoids, and pesticides play a significant role in creating a hostile environment for the bees. However, the future of the honey market is still not in the dark due to the continuous efforts made by the environmentalists and corporate. Both the segments are striving to improve the environment and encouraging the industry through consolidation and setting standards for the quality.
The global honey market is quite fragmented due to the lack of multinational brands. Only a few brands dominate the industry while the rest of the segment remains unconsolidated. However, the Indian apiculture industry is booming due to rapid industrialization and consolidation. Therefore, despite a few shortcomings on the business model, the industry is likely to experience a double-digit growth in the next 5-7 years.