By the time he reached the third year of his engineering degree, Apoorva B V knew the field was not for him. Peer and societal pressure may have forced him to enrol in the Bengaluru college, but he was not going to stay there long. Apoorva began to look for a way out. Sadly, he could not find any.
Just when all seemed lost, a bee rescued him.
“I read a book on bee-keeping. Shantaveeraya, its author, had come to my father’s publishing house to get his book republished. Shantaveeraya explained the process to me in under 20 minutes. At that moment, he truly inspired me and has since become my hero. Not just for helping me quit engineering but also because he introduced me to a profession that helps plants flourish and increase the income of farmers,” Apoorva shares with The Better India.
All it needed was a 3-day training to help Apoorva dive into the unconventional profession of a ‘bee-farming’. Today, nearly ten years later, Apoorva has 550 boxes of bees in different districts of Karnataka and an annual turnover of Rs 2 crores!
And now, Apoorva is going to share his knowledge with you through his workshop on bee-keeping.
Want to know what the buzz is all about? Click here to join Apoorva’s workshop over the weekend!
How do you start keeping bees in Bengaluru?
Apoorva reassures that you do not need a farm or a vast garden to start bee-keeping.
“The only prerequisite is to have a keen interest in rearing bees and a good eye to track the progress of your box. Anyone above the age of 15 can start their bee farm. It requires just 20 minutes of your time every week. And once you become proficient, not even that much!” he says.
He too started small and today has 100 boxes of Apis mellifera ligustica (Italian bees) and 450 boxes of Indian bees in Bengaluru and other parts of the state.
Furthermore, he has trained 55 people to take up this profession.
“Honey is not the only profitable product of this profession. Lately, I have been renting my boxes to farmers to pollinate their farms. Plants tend to give 40-50 per cent more yield when pollinated by bees, and so, the farmers can earn more,” he says.
The bees help plants thrive, and the plants provide food to them. No doubt, it’s a profitable buzz-ness on both sides. No (ehm) stings attached.
Are you excited about learning from Apoorva? Follow this link to book your place.
What are the advantages of bee-keeping?
There is a certain apprehension about rearing bees in an urban setup. But at this point, we need to fear the diminishing numbers of bees more than anything.
Estimates state that of the food we consume, one-third of it comes from the pollinating prowess of bees.
But thanks to rapid urbanisation, their food source and secure homes are fast deteriorating, forcing the bees to move further away from the cities.
How will our gardens and terrace farms reap harvests if the bee is absent?
“There is absolutely no issue if you want to start a bee farm but have no box. Ensure a place safely away from kids and pets, and the bees are safe there. They can travel as far as 1 km in radius to gather food. So if they find your home safe, they will thrive,” explains Apoorva adding that you too are safe even with hundreds of bees in them.
He explains that bees communicate with pheromones, and when you get scared, you release pheromones that trigger the bees. The trick is to stay calm when you handle the box. As long as the bees aren’t agitated or scared, they shouldn’t trouble you.
We understand your concern about the stings. But Apoorva will address it in the workshop and share his own experience with you. Attend his workshop in Bengaluru, and you can get to know more. Click here to book your slot now.
What are the five benefits of keeping bees?
- It helps the biodiversity in your surroundings. Bees are the soldiers and without them ecosystems may collapse. Rearing them will help the plants in your area thrive.
- Bee-keeping takes no more than 20 minutes of your time every week.
- The organic honey you get from the colonies will be a healthy addition to your diet, and you can turn it into a business too!
- Not just honey, you can help farms flourish with these domesticated bees.
- You will be giving a much-needed boost to the bee population, from the comfort of your home.
Learn in detail about bee-keeping straight from the man who’s been doing it for ten years now. Click here to know the exact location in Bengaluru, price and other details.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)