As we were roaming around Araku Valley from one water fall to another, on one side of the road we saw some blue boxes lines up in what seemed like uncultivated land. We stopped to find out what they were and right there on the road a vendor was selling honey in small plastic bottles and when asked where does he get the honey from, he pointed to the same blue boxes. With some interpretation help, we asked him to show us the boxes.
These boxes are mini honey making factories. There are wooden frames stacked up inside the boxes and the honey bees are attracted to them. Over a period of time the frames are filled with honey and bee wax. These boxes are kept covered from the top unless the bee-keeper has to examine or take out the frames. There is a small hole at the bottom of the box that is meant for the bees to use for entering and exiting the box.
I was scared when the bee-keeper just took out a wooden frame from the box and held it with his bare hands to show it to us, but he was absolutely cool about it. He told us that each box can yield 5-7 kgs of honey in a month’s time, and is a pretty profitable business though a small scale one. I thought it could be a good employment generation opportunity for people in this area as flowers are in abundance making it a viable place for honey making. The boxes are portable so they can be shifted to various places and need not occupy any prime cultivable land. The labor required is also not high though some skill may need to be developed to handle the bees.
We picked up a bottle of honey, said thank you and I was happy to learn about another small business that can be done in a very eco-friendly way without much investment. This is how each travel enriches me with unexpected experiences.