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How to Set Up a Honey Processing Plant in India? – Registrations and Licenses Requirments

Honey-Processing-plant

Setting up a honey processing plant in India holds a lot of scope and opportunities for the person who wishes to start it. Honey is a highly consumable item used for nutritional, medicinal and industrial purposes. Also, the Indian Government plans numerous projects for promoting the Indian Honey-Producing sector in the International Market from time to time. 

Introduction on Honey Processing Plant

Honey can be extracted by processing the beehives through different methods. Bee colonies are kept in artificial or hives made by humans for extracting honey, beewax, propolis, flower pollen, bee pollen, and royal jelly. This act of maintaining colonies of honey bees is known as Apiculture.

Bee farming needs a lot of attention and focuses on the moisture content of the honey has to be controlled carefully. As a matter of fact, the moisture content in the honey is an important factor for producing good quality, honey.

Potential of Honey Processing Plant

Honey is a highly consumed food item often used for its medicinal properties. Also, it is used as a sweetening agent in industries like candy making industries, jam-making industry, bakeries, dairy product sector.

Furthermore, honey is also used in medicines as a sweetening agent, in the cosmetic industry as organic cosmetic, and as a food item at the domestic level. Moreover, the wax extracted from the bee hives is excellent for Candle Making.

Honey bees also aid in the pollination of flowers that means it holds some agricultural value. Therefore, beekeeping is beneficial in many ways.  

honey

Registrations and Licenses You Would Require

The following permits and registrations are required to set up a Honey Processing Unit;

  • Registration of Firm: The first step to start any type of industry is incorporating your own firm. Additionally, it is always beneficial to incorporate a One Person Company at the initial stage of your business
  • Trade License: You need to take the Trade license from your local state authority
  • FSSAI License: Honey is a category of the item under the food industry. Therefore, you need to take the FSSAI license to be able to work with honey, in any manner. Also, you need to comply with the provisions of the Food Prevention Act
  • GST Registration: It is mandatory to obtain GST Registration if your turnover is above the specified limit
  • Import Export Code: You got to obtain the Import Export Code if you are planning to export honey from your bee farm
  • Bureau of  Indian Standards – BIS Certification: You would also need to take the BIS Certification  
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Important Necessities of Setting up a Honey Processing Unit

Apart from securing necessary licenses and permits, you would also need resources like adequate land to cultivate or keep your bee hives, raw materials, and proper equipments and machineries to set up your honey processing plant

Required Area

Bee farming or apiculture is carried out in an open farm area and the location where bee farming is done is called a “bee yard.” Bee farming can be done on a decent specially designed place like your garden or the rooftop is also suitable. Basically the site should be away from your house and nearby the source of nectar for the bees. Some people also like to do floriculture – the cultivation of flowers along with apiculture – cultivation of bees.

Furthermore, the site should have sufficient space that can be divided into sections separately for different purposes like bee farming, honey extraction, etc. Also, your farm should be located at a place which has adequate facilities like;

  • Water: Your farm should have adequate source of water, either natural or artificial.
  • Shady area: A place or area covered with trees or with artificial method of providing shade is essential for bee farming. This is to ensure that the bees are protected from the harsh sunlight and strong winds.
  • Cool and dry atmosphere: Excess moisture can ruin the quality of the honey therefore it is necessary to maintain the moisture content of the surrounding atmosphere to maintain the quality of the honey. 
  • Plantation: It is recommended to set up your bee farm at a location which is near pollen yielding plants. It is because, it will reduce the distance bees has to travel to collect nectar/ pollen. Additionally, abundance of flowers will help with the growth of the bees’ population which is beneficial both for the bee farmer and the environment.
  • Laboratories: It is advised to have a lab unit for testing the bees and the honey. However, small and medium scaled cannot afford to have their own labs, so they can seek help from other laboratories for testing purposes.
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Raw Materials

When you retrieve the bee hive for extracting honey, you need to be extra careful as honey bees are very aggressive insects. It may bite you if you don’t have proper clothing and tools. For extracting honey, you must have beginner’s kit, hive tools, smoker, smoker fuel, medications, and apiary armor.

Furthermore, you would need artificial or manmade hives. Hives are nothing but wooden structures that provides appropriate space to honey bees to build honey combs. It is specially designed to help bees in developing and setting up their colonies. Basically, there are many types of artificial hives; however, the most common ones are Top Bar hive, Langstroth hive, Warre hive, and Rose hive among the horizontal frame hives.        

Machineries

You would need various machines and equipment to carry out bee farming. Therefore, tools are a must from keeping the bees to harvesting the combs to retrieve honey from them. Some of the tools that you need to have are as follows;

  • Bee venom collector
  • Draining trays
  • Food grade plastic made the queen cage
  • Gravity clarifiers
  • Heating tank
  • Hive gate
  • Honey extractor
  • Honey filtering tanks
  • Iron hive tools of L shape and curved shape
  • Packaging machines
  • Queen gate
  • Pollen trap
  • Queen rearing kit
  • Smoker
  • Queen excluder
  • SS Hive tools of L shape and curved shape
  • Storage tanks
  • Thin and thick beekeeping brushes

Manufacturing Process

The following steps need to be followed to process honey;

Step 1: Opening the hive frame

Remove the top part of the hive box, smoke up the opening to remove the bees. Then, remove the inner hive.

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Step 2: Removing Beehive

After separating the inner hive, honey bees are removed from the comb using bee brush, smoker, and electric blower.

honey processing

Step 3: Unclamping Honey

After removing the bees from the comb, honey is extracted from it by cutting it open with a knife.

Step 4: Extracting honey

Honey extraction is the process of extracting honey from the honeycomb. Moreover, there are different types of Honey extraction method;

  • Honey extractors
  • Straining extraction method
  • Bulk extraction method
  • Pressing extraction method
  • Water bath extraction method

Step 5: Filtering and Packaging

Generally after extraction of honey, there is a lot of wax or scum that remains in the honey. Therefore, the honey is filtered and then packed for distribution.

beekeeper

Selling the Honey

Marketing and sales promotion is the most essential purpose of every business. After you have harvested and processed honey, you need to sell them to earn profits. For that you need to identify your target market, considering both retail and industrial market. You can also employ different marketing tactics to attract customers such as providing offers, promoting your business in the local market, also selling the bee wax, etc.

Also, you can sell organic honey as there is a high demand for organic items in the present market. Selling raw honey without processing is also an option. Some target market for selling honey include

  • Medicinal industry
  • Cosmetic industry
  • Domestic industry
  • Food industry

Conclusion

If you are planning to start a honey processing plant, you have a lot of scope and opportunities to grow in this sector. Furthermore, according to CSE, India holds the seventh position in honey production, with about 65,000 metric tons of honey per year. Also, as per the study shows, beekeeping employs around 2.5 lakh farmers in India with this number increasing continuously.     

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