Himanshu and Tanvi Patel are a married couple from Gujarat who own the organic and raw honey company Svadya. This also eliminates the need for chemicals on their farm.
Tanvi and Himanshu Patel are among those who voluntarily left their corporate careers to do organic farming.
When they discovered that the farmer who had rented their agricultural land had sprayed chemicals on it, they quit their occupations. Himanshu, a mechanical engineer, was a senior manager at the JSW power plant at the time. Tanvi worked as a teacher.
The pair started their adventure into organic farming in 2019. During one of their internet searches, beekeeping came up when they were looking for safer pesticide alternatives.
“The growth may be more rapid if the crops and vegetables receive enough pollination. We started out by testing things out on our own before receiving beekeeping instruction from the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK),” Tanvi tells media.
This information has been combined into their own honey brand, Svadya, which is now well-known throughout the nation. They started with just one or two wooden crates of honey and then 100 and eventually 500 over time.
The pair describes how they not only expanded their business selling raw honey but also assisted farmers from a nearby farm in switching to organic farming.
If they inhale chemicals within a 3–4 kilometer radius, bees can die immediately. The couple claims they lost close to Rs 3,60,000 when the bees in Tanvi and Himanshu’s experimental crates perished after breathing chemicals from the neighboring farm.
They moved the boxes to the opposite end of the land by the following season, which was between October and April. They asked the neighboring farmer to stop using chemicals on three bighas (one bigha is equal to 0.275 acres) of his property.
They retrieved eight beehives—each containing 30,000 bees—from each wooden container after buying beehives from beekeepers.
“Beehives typically cost up to Rs 17,000, but we got them for Rs 4,000 during the season.” The bee collecting process can take up to 12 days, therefore we started as soon as we received the crates from KVK. According to Himanshu, the cost of upkeep every year includes their food, labor expenditures, and migration fees if the position needs to be changed.
On the day of harvest, it can take the pair up to 12 hours to attend to all the boxes. The pair must commit two hours each day to maintaining the boxes. “We extract the honey off the surface and shift the honeycomb into an empty box. Using a honey extractor device, we can accomplish this without endangering the eggs. To avoid frightening the bees, we remove the honey while wearing all the necessary safety gear and being calm. The maintenance is not much, but to keep them healthy during the off-season, we have to offer them sugar syrup, fruit juices, and jaggery water, says Tanvi.
According to Tanvi and Himanshu, their FSSAI-certified brand sells raw honey that has not been processed. Every month, they sell about 300 kilos of honey and make an average profit of between Rs 9 lakh and Rs 12 lakh.
Tanvi responds that word-of-mouth was the only marketing strategy the pair used to obtain orders from all around India. At the JSW plant in Barmer, Rajasthan, several of Himanshu’s former coworkers bought the honey and gave it to their family members. To spread the word, the pair also made use of social media.
The two claim that pollination caused their overall farm output to grow by 1.5 times. Observing this, nearby farmers also borrowed the containers for similar purposes.
“For my most recent cycle of fennel cultivation on my 3 bigha property, I borrowed three crates from Tanvi. I increased my output by 50% without avoiding the usage of any chemicals or pesticides. It was entirely natural. Being able to observe how beehives affect my land has pleased me. The farmer who lives next door to Tanvi says, “I intend to get beehives of my own shortly.