SUNBIZ

From Producing Honey To Producing Beehives

While many farmers have put their focus into commercial honey production, the director of Gold Town Honey, Mohammed Shafiq decided to put his focus into commercializing the production of beehives.
23 Aug 2016 10:21
From Producing Honey To Producing Beehives

While many farmers have put their focus into commercial honey production, the director of Gold Town Honey, Mohammed Shafiq decided to put his focus into commercializing the production of beehives.

Mr Mohammed, of Lomolomo, Lautoka,  opted to breed and sell beehives in his 14th year of honey production to assure good supply of honey and sustainability in bee farming.

According to the Ministry for Agriculture, Lautoka office, Mr Shafiq is one of the two beehive suppliers certified by the BioSecurity Authority of Fiji.

Mr Shafiq started his business of producing honey in 1998 and in 2012 he realiSed that many people were getting into the same line of business so after years of experiencing and studying bees, he took a step ahead.

Last year he produced 800 beehives contracted to Ministry of Agriculture, non-government organis ations, old honey-bee farmers and new farmers.

But this year after Cyclone Winston, Mr Shafiq said he lost about 40 beehives.

“At the moment, I have 300 beehives in my Ba, Lautoka and Nadi farms and so far this year I have sold 200 beehives. There’s a good demand of beehives as farmers are growing in numbers,” Mr Shafiq said.

According to Mr Shafiq, in one beehive there are 50,000-60,000 bees which can produce 20 kilograms of honey for its batch.

As the focus turned to beehives, the production of honey for Mr Shafiq’s business has reduced from three-five tonnes per harvest (two-three months) to three to five tonnes per year.

“The current market price for honey is good, because as a farmer and producer I know the expense      .

“We have to understand the bees, its life cycle, work cycle when we breed bees.

“I prepare beehives according to the customer’s demand.

“It takes me about two months to get it ready because it is a natural process.

“As it is, farming bees and producing honey is a timely work in paucity of resources.”

He also added that he didn’t wish to engage in export for such due to low market prices abroad.

The Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (FRIEND) Fiji have been clients of Mr Shafiq since 2012.

This has enabled the non-government organization to assist the farmers in the Western and Northern division.

Melaial Salatakau, of FRIEND Fiji, in Lautoka, said: “We buy beehives from Mr Shafiq because he is the certified supplier.

“We then supply the beehives for farmers to assist them through our projects for farmers, who do engage in honey production.”

Since 2012, Mr Shafiq has sold at least 200 beehives to FRIEND Fiji.

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