Sweedal Bonita D’Souza
Daijiworld Media Network- Mangaluru
Mangaluru, Jun 5: The pandemic has pushed everyone to a tough situation, which has also spurred many to start innovative businesses. Former journalist Bharathraj Sorake, who hails from Puttur, has now taken to bee farming post pandemic. “Changes that happened during the Covid-19 period were the primary driving force to get into bee keeping” he says.
Bharath was a journalist and used to work as a sub-editor in newspaper. Three years ago out of fear of losing his job during the Covid-19, Bharat desired to find a job that would give him immediate income. Hence, he chose the field of apiculture (bee farming). With 3 weeks of training, he started his own business of bee farming and since the last six months this has now become his full-time job. Alongside his journalism profession, he had started his training with 10 bee boxes. “People who want to do bee farming should not jump into this business without training as there is a lot of risk involved,” says Bharath.
Bharath undertook training under a renowned bee farmer, Manamohana Arambya, who is a Rajyotsava award winner and has imparted training to several people in bee farming. Bharath also took up a 3-day course which was offered by the Department of Horticulture. He says that a week of training is more than enough for bee farming.
Bharath who had started with 10 bee boxes now has around 100 boxes. He owns his own farm in Puttur and also rents out different sites for this purpose. He says that one need not have their own plot for bee farming. “One can ask a relative or a friend for a little portion of their plot and in this way both the parties will benefit. The bees increase the rate of pollination which in turn increases the crop produce, which is an added advantage to the crop owner.”
He also says, “I give importance to by-products derived from honey such as beeswax and bee balm which are traditional.”
Bharath does not restrict himself to rearing and selling bees. He also produces various by-products like honey and creams made of beeswax and balms. All his products are made without using any chemicals and are hence natural. He uses machines to extract the honey. He says that his business is doing well and that he has a few permanent customers who buy boxes and honey from him every year. “My main principle as a bee farmer is to give the customers pure raw honey. Since I rear the bees and sell the produce myself, it builds trust between me and my customer” he says.
Bharath has also been putting up pop up stalls during various events. One of them was ‘Halasu Mela’ in Mangaluru which was held on June 3. He has been selling his products there for over 2 years and is getting a good customer response. “This is one of the purest forms of honeys I have ever tasted,” said one of his customers.