Ukraine is the leader in honey production in Europe, and this is not surprising: beekeeping is one of the most developed agricultural sectors. Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Zaporizhia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Nikolaev and Khmelnitsky regions account for more than 100 thousand bee families each. At least 400 thousand beekeepers live in Ukraine.
Bees in Ukraine
In fact, all that is required for the production of honey in the natural environment is bees and melliferous plants. In Ukraine, the following insect breeds can be found in apiaries:
- Central Russian . Disease-resistant breed that tolerates wintering. However, it is distinguished by an aggressive and quite nasty character.
- Gray Caucasian . Perhaps the friendliest bees famous for their high productivity. However, at the same time, diseases and wintering are much worse tolerated than Central Russians.
- Carpathian. Calm, flexible breed, not prone to swarming and very winter-hardy. A good choice for a beginner. However, honey production in Carpathian bees is at an average level.
- Ukrainian steppe. Winter-hardy, medium-aggressive breed. It brings more honey than the Carpathian, but more prone to swarming.
- Yellow Caucasian. It is best suited for keeping in hot and arid regions of Ukraine. The tendency to swarm is moderate, the bees are relatively peaceful for the beekeeper, but they can attack alien bee families.
- Karnika. More than other breeds, it is prone to swarming, but at the same time it brings twice as much honey as the Carpathian, Ukrainian steppe and yellow Caucasian. In addition, the uterus is characterized by increased reproduction.
- Italian Fertility champions among breeds that are found in Ukraine. However, it is very non-resistant and highly susceptible to disease.
Ukrainian honey carriers
The following plants bloom in Ukraine in spring :
- Holly willow;
- Apple tree;
- yellow acacia and others
In summer , other honey carriers come to replace:
- white acacia;
- meadow clover and red;
- creeping clover (white, Dutch);
- white porridge;
- milk thistle;
- sunflower and others
And in the fall in Ukraine heather blooms.
Tips for beginner Ukrainian beekeepers
First of all, a beginner beekeeper from Ukraine should decide on the method of beekeeping, which he will continue to adhere to:
- artificial swarming;
- free swarming;
- swarm method;
- sectional method.
You should also heed the recommendations:
- Keep the number of bee colonies that can be given appropriate attention and that can be dealt with.
- Perform all apiary care work honestly and efficiently. Keeping all nests clean is the direct responsibility of a good beekeeper.
- Bees need to be provided with the optimal amount of food not only during the wintering period, but also in the spring period.
- Every bee family must be strong. After wintering, the family needs at least eight streets.
- Bees should be kept exclusively in warm hives. Beehives should have strong walls, as well as a leaking roof. In winter, it is necessary to keep bees at a temperature of two to four degrees Celsius in dry and insulated winteries.
- The number of families should be increased using layering obtained from the strongest bee colonies. By the time of the main bribe, the new bee colonies should be equal in strength to the main ones.
- Choose the right time to expand the nests of bees. You should constantly monitor the workload and life of bees in the hive itself. Bees should be constantly busy with work.
- There should be a sufficient number of cells in the apiary. In regions with an average bribe, after culling, there should be at least twelve nesting frames per one bee family, and ten - store frames. For areas with excellent bribes, you must have twice as much store land.
- For an apiary, it is necessary to choose a calm, dry place, but a large number of honey plants should grow around. It is desirable that plants bloom at different times of the year: some bloomed in early spring, some in late, and some in summer.
- The age of the uterus should not exceed 2 years. There are exceptions, but, as a rule, the queen bee loses its fertility after a year and a half.
You can find even more tips for a novice beekeeper here .
Beekeeping in Ukraine as a business
The level of demand for honey in Ukraine is much higher than the supply of products on the market. In turn, this provides excellent prospects for the development of beekeeping as an entrepreneurial activity.
In addition, the country adopted the Law "On Beekeeping", according to which all beekeeping products and beekeeping activity itself are not taxed. The law regulates the process of breeding, industrial use of bees, ensures the protection of bee families, which is a good support for a novice entrepreneur.
How to start a business?
In order for the beekeeping business to succeed, you need to worry not only about quality equipment and inventory, but also about prudent operation.
Beekeeping will require:
- beehives directly;
- cargo scooters;
- plank patterns;
- coil holders;
- combined skating rinks;
- nomadic booths;
- a drinking bowl for bees;
- thermometers and other equipment.
Up to five thousand dollars may be required to fully equip 20 hives.
Before you do beekeeping for profit, you need to find future employees in advance. The level of professionalism and the quality of work of the employee are the main criteria by which the selection of future personnel should be carried out. First of all, pay attention to the person’s work experience and specialization in the field of beekeeping and honey production.
Without a detailed business plan, it will be impossible to attract credit and investment in future beekeeping. A business plan must contain:
- the future direction and niche of the enterprise (private enterprise) in the market;
- honey production tasks;
- development of tactics for the future work of the apiary;
- search plan and requirements for employees and managers;
- assessment of the opportunities and costs of entrepreneurial activity;
- consideration of possible future suppliers and buyers.
It is also necessary to analyze the market of the region in which the implementation of the business plan is planned. The future type and range of products to be provided must be predetermined.
Do not lose sight of the initial costs of tools, equipment, bees and the first costs of staff salaries.
When planning a business organization for beekeeping, it is necessary to take into account the width of the future audience, the area of the territory that will be required for the production of honey and the presence of honey plants on it.
Production efficiency in Ukraine remains extremely low, especially in comparison with other states. For example, in Canada, the production of more than 4 tons of honey per one beekeeper, while for Ukraine this figure is 200 kilograms. This difference in performance is explained by the fact that in Ukraine honey production is at an amateur level.
Association of beekeepers into cooperatives would contribute to the increase in honey production. Beekeeping from 3-10 beehives can provide honey only to the beekeeper's family, and this is rather a level of hobby. Such a business becomes profitable only with hundreds of bee colonies.
In addition, the type of hives must be changed. As a rule, Ukrainian beekeepers use sunbeds, which are quite difficult to transport anywhere due to their bulkiness, and for the benefit of the industrial apiary, the melliferous base should be periodically replaced. The transition to multihull hives would help to overcome this barrier to the withdrawal of beekeeping in Ukraine to the production level.
Another barrier is quality. First of all, it is necessary to ensure that Ukrainian beekeepers comply with European Union quality standards. This will help to reduce the use of antibiotics, the transition to a helpless production and will make it possible to stop the preparation of immature honey.
Until all barriers are overcome, Ukraine will not be able to reach the production level for the production of honey and other beekeeping products. However, there are chances, and they are very optimistic.
Another important step on the way is business orderliness. The European Union requires that, when exporting honey, it is possible to trace the origin of the product right down to the apiary. In other words, all exported honey should be accompanied by a full set of necessary documentation and standard packaging.
Beekeeping development factors in Ukraine
To achieve maximum efficiency of beekeeping, special attention should be paid to the following factors:
- Breed. Full and extensive information about bee breeds, their features, pluses and minuses is the key to a successful business. Creation of new groups of breeds, breeding lines, types, as well as the use of effective methods in the process will certainly help in this.
- Technology. It is strongly recommended to use only the latest tools, methods and techniques. Time-tested is not always good.
- Readiness. It is impossible to catch a good beekeeper by surprise; preventive measures and quick response actions must always be prepared in advance.
- Environment. The honey bees surrounding the apiary should always be well understood. This is necessary primarily for maximum productivity and safety of bees.
- Pollination. Bees should be regularly used for pollination of plants.
- Health. It is necessary to constantly monitor the beekeeping market: Ukraine each year provides more and more effective medicines and more and more nutritious food.
- Certificates All manufactured products must be certified. Thus, the Ukrainian manufacturer will be able to win the trust of the European consumer.
- Region. Many factors in the future depend on the choice of the region of entrepreneurship: the choice of bee breeds, the time of honey collection, and so on.
Problems and difficulties
The consumption of honey in Ukraine among the population decreased significantly due to the decline of the Ukrainian economy and an increase in export prices: if honey cost 1.5 euros, now it costs the same, but in hryvnias it has risen significantly - the price of liquid gold in the domestic market has grown three times.
Since honey is not a product of prime necessity, citizens of Ukraine are in no hurry to pay such a high price for it. Therefore, it is more profitable for entrepreneurs to export products than to sell in the country.
Another problem of the domestic Ukrainian market is a significant share of counterfeit goods. The main volume of sales is not through stores, but directly, that is, beekeepers personally and through spontaneous trading. As a rule, such products are not tested for antibiotics, because for one beekeeper-private trader this is a very expensive pleasure - the cost of analysis can be about 2.5 thousand hryvnias. Having in hand a small batch weighing 100-500 kilograms, to conduct this analysis is simply unprofitable.
Beekeeping in Ukraine is a developed industry, which may well be profitable for any entrepreneur. Properly selected bee breed, region, high-quality tools and skillful staff - all this will achieve financial heights in a short time. The main thing is to study as much information as possible and not be afraid to put it into practice.