So 2020 was crazy right? These "unprecedented times" brought about a huge change in the ways we work, see friends and family, shop, and live our day to day lives. One big thing that became apparent was that people starting using their time to learn new skills, try new hobbies, and cultivate their spaces. Baking bread, gardening, knitting, painting, and cooking are just some of the examples of tasks that came back to the forefront of daily life. But what about beekeeping? Bee-Craft Consult LLC is a one-stop-shop beekeeping consulting firm that not only produces high-quality natural honey and other beehive products but also provides consulting to people wanting to bloom into beekeepers themselves. Learn more about how you can keep bees in your very own backyard with owner Adesina Oduntan Daniel Adesina here:
UMLF: Tell us about yourself and your background?
Daniel: I am Adesina Daniel Oduntan, a Nigerian, an entomologist and a beekeeper by profession; married with 3 kids. I have been in this beekeeping business for almost 28 years. I am the author of a beekeeping textbook named "Beekeeper's Companion illustrated Field Guide".
UMLF: What inspired you to start Bee-Craft Consult?
Daniel: For a long time since I was young, I always want to be an independent and a successful person because I have seen many people around me that were civil servants working for government and were so poor. When I decided to study agriculture in University, I was determined to be self-employed. At my final year in my University in 1993, I discovered beekeeping through an advert in a national dailies paper for a 3 day beekeeping workshop at University of Ibadan, Oyo State. After the training, I started reading magazines, journals and books on beekeeping and I came across two American families of 5 to 6 generations in beekeeping business, their names are Dadant & Sons and A.I Roots and that inspired me to have my own business that will last many generations.
UMLF: You teach the average person on how to engage in beekeeping. Why is this an important skill to know?
Daniel: Bees are unique creatures created by God to minister healing to humanity. Everything about bees and products from bees are powerful, so as a result, much information is needed for people to make the best use of them. The usefulness of bees in agriculture (pollination), nutrition, & medicine cannot be over emphasized. The bottom line is that people need to be taught and there must be people like us (Bee-Craft) to teach them so that people will not be afraid of bees stings and know how to manage their bees well for the best profit.
The Adage says, "use what you have to get what you want" I am such a person who doesn't like to beg or lobby for favor to get what I need. In Africa or even anywhere, to get money to start business is a problem, you need a bank loan or someone to borrow you money to start the business, and your lenders determine the final say, so I choose to take my life in my own hands and come to conclusion that what can I do to get what I needs by myself. I arrive at teaching people, consulting services can bring me the money needed instead of waiting on someone to determine what happened to me.
UMLF: You offer online classes on how to keep bees at home. Tell us more about this awesome program
Daniel: Our online beekeeping classes is part of our efforts to spread the Beekeeping Education and Experience Program (BEEP) to a larger audience. It is a distance learning program for those people that want to know more about the rudiments of beekeeping. 20 years ago, in 2001, in our effort to spread the good news of keeping bees among the students and youths in Nigeria, we took the program to the Ministry of Education in Ogun, Oyo & Osun States of Nigeria named "Beekeeping Education Extension Program" to educate the students by given them the right mind set of self-employed & self-reliant as well as, to empower the participants, by pulling resources (genuine & pure honey) together for sale at International markets.
Our online classes are solely to educate participants that there is more than just honey in the beehive. We also want to empower them to make additional resources (money) from keeping bees. Bee-Craft Consult is planning a beekeeping education program in Utah Schools now, if approved by the Utah State Board of Education.
UMLF: Every business has its highs and lows. Tell us about a challenge you faced as a small business owner and how you overcame it?
Daniel: There are many challenges facing a small business owner, the 1st among many challenges is financing. Money to incur tools (materials), inventories, rents, advertisement, even to acquire knowledge (upgrade) e.t.c.
I knew from day one that I would establish a beekeeping school to train people to make money. I have acquired enough practical knowledge about bees, and already training people locally, but modern beekeeping at that time in Nigeria was not really common and it sound strange that someone is culturing bees. In 1999, one of the radio station (Ogun Radio) presenter heard about me and he invited me as a guest on a live phone-in program (ORO SUNNUKUN) a Yoruba program to speak about bees and honey. Before the interview date, I had to negotiate to use a friend's office because I didn’t have one, so that I can direct the potential customers to where they can find me when they ask for address during the interview. The following day after the interview, people began to come to buy honey and someone among the customers just said can you please kindly organize a training workshop on beekeeping, that was how I got the inspiration to start planning the workshop. Before the day of the workshop, another presenter heard about my previous and he then invited me to his Sunday morning Live-On-FM, another phoned in program just 2 days away from my beekeeping workshop. That radio program boosted the workshop and, a lot of people attended. From the workshop, people registered for our Institute of Vocational Bee-Craft, and that was where I got more than enough money to secure my own personal office accommodation.
UMLF: How do you believe the Utah Microloan Fund has helped your business?
Daniel: The Utah Microloan Fund has helped me start my beekeeping business in the US. The loan that UMLF gave me was the first ever loan I got in 28 years of business. Despite the fact that I didn’t have record of my business in US, they trusted my integrity with the proof of my works in Africa and Europe (Germany) and granted me the first loan in 2017 and another in 2020. The organization is not limited to giving loan, but they also assisted in organizing training/workshop to promote my business.
Providing business training and funding to entrepreneurs in start-up & existing businesses that do not qualify for traditional funding sources.