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Posted at: May 23, 2019, 7:34 AM; last updated: May 23, 2019, 7:34 AM (IST)WORLD HONEY BEE DAY

When money tastes sweeter than honey

United Nations observes Honey Bee Day to raise awareness about apiculture as livelihood
When money tastes sweeter than honey
Faculty of Punjab Agricultural University celebrates World Honey Bee Day, organised jointly by the department of entomology and the Progressive Beekeepers Association (Regd), in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Tribune photo

Minna Zutshi

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22

Punjab Agricultural University celebrated the World Honey Bee Day, organised by the department of entomology, in collaboration with the Progressive Beekeepers Association (Regd), today. The day has been marked by the United Nations to raise awareness about the importance of bees.

Parveen Bhatia, DDM, NABARD, was the guest of honour at the celebrations. The programme was chaired by Dr GS Butter, additional director of extension, PAU. Jagdev Singh, Deputy Director from the State Department of Horticulture, also graced the occasion as the special guest. Many progressive beekeepers from Punjab participated in this programme.

The head of department of entomology, Dr Pardeep K Chhuneja, highlighted the role of PAU in the introduction of the Italian honey bee, which is an exotic honey bee, into India. He also shared the major research work carried out by PAU in the field of beekeeping due to which beekeeping has emerged as an excellent livelihood-earning occupation, which can be adopted either solely or as an agricultural subsidiary occupation. He also discussed chapters on various aspects of apiculture in school books to create awareness about the importance of bees. He also shed light upon consumerism to enhance apicultural profitability through facilitating market for various hive products.

The president of the Punjab Beekeepers Association, JS Tiwana, urged stakeholders to address some of the key issues such as plantation of bee floral crops on government land and canal banks.

Simranjeet Singh Drall, chairman, Punjab Beekeepers Association, shared his personal beekeeping experiences and highlighted the role of the association in solving some of the major issues such as toll free passage for migration across the states and quality of honey, among other issues.

Dr Butter shared important tips such as maintenance of quality of honey, direct marketing to escape middlemen and adoption of diversification in apiculture to enhance profitability. He also urged the audience to include honey in their diet so that the domestic consumption may be enhanced. He assured the beekeepers that PAU will always be there to address their technical issues by conducting research on the required issues.

Dr Jagdev Singh highlighted various schemes run by the Horticulture Department of Punjab for the welfare of beekeeping. He shared that the department was publicising honey as a healthy food under “Tandarust Punjab”, a government of Punjab initiative.

Parveen Bhatia from the NABARD shared his organisation’s programmes made especially for farmers. He urged the beekeepers to form FPOs and work in that model so that maximum benefits of the government schemes may be availed.

In the afternoon session, all the beekeepers interacted with the scientists of PAU and showed their concern over the adulteration of honey with cheap supplements which deteriorated the quality of honey and fetched low prices for their produce. To counteract this, strong quality standards were demanded from the FSSAI, along with the provision to check the import of adulterants into India. Scientists and beekeepers were also honoured at the occasion for their outstanding contributions.

Issues discussed

  • Dr Pardeep K Chhuneja highlighted the role of PAU in the introduction of the Italian honey bee into India. He discussed chapters on various aspects of apiculture in school books to create awareness about the importance of bees. He also shed light upon consumerism to enhance apicultural profitability through facilitating market for various hive products
  • JS Tiwana urged stakeholders to address some of the key issues such as plantation of bee floral crops on government land and canal banks. 
  • Simranjeet Singh Drall highlighted the role of the Punjab Beekeepers Association in solving some of the major issues such as toll free passage for migration across the states and quality of honey
  • Dr Butter shared important tips such as maintenance of quality of honey, direct marketing to escape middlemen and adoption of diversification in apiculture to enhance profitability
  • Dr Jagdev Singh highlighted various schemes run by the Horticulture Department of Punjab for the welfare of beekeeping
  • Parveen Bhatia from the NABARD urged the beekeepers to form FPOs and work in that model so that maximum benefits of the government schemes may be availed 

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