In order to promote the production of beekeeping products, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in collaboration with National Bee Board (NBB), organised a national conclave on ‘Production of Bees Wax’ on March 30, 2022. The conclave was supported by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED). The objective of the conclave was to create awareness about the production of other high-value beekeeping products such as bees wax, bee pollen, royal jelly, propolis, bee venom among other beehive products.
Addressing the conclave, Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, said, “Beekeeping, besides pollination support, also provides extra income and creates employment opportunities for rural and landless farmers and beekeepers. Through the implementation of the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM), Government of India has taken so many initiatives to strengthen the beekeeping industry in the country.” He highlighted that under NBHM, thrust is being given to setting up infrastructural facilities for collection, processing, trading, testing and branding of honey and other beehive products. He also informed NDDB, NAFED and TRIFED have been identified as implementing agencies under NBHM for implementing beekeeping activities through a cluster-based approach by making farmers producer organisations (FPOs) on beekeeping.
Speaking on the occasion, Meenesh Shah, Chairman, NDDB, Anand suggested that engaging beekeepers in multiple streams of income through diversified activities is important for building economic resilience. Scientific beekeeping is one such activity that can provide additional income not only from honey production but through the production of other beehive products. He informed that NDDB was promoting beekeeping by using dairy cooperative channels present in the country and creating FPOs by organising beekeepers with the support of NBB. To create awareness about beekeeping, with the support of NBB, NDDB has organised 40 training programmes on beekeeping across the country by involving local Krishi Vigyan Kendra and state agriculture universities, progressive beekeepers and member societies of NBB which benefitted about 1100 beekeepers.
Abhijit Bhattacharjee, General Manager, NDDB informed that NDDB was always committed to bringing in policies and schemes beneficial to farmers and milk producers with the aim to uplift their economy. NDDB has a wide approach that the economy of Indian farmers and milk producers would only increase if farmers and milk producers will utilise the resources present in their local area and do not import resources from outside. NDDB is actively involved in the promotion of beekeeping through their network of cooperative institutions. Today’s’ conclave regarding an important by-product of beekeeping i.e bees wax is the step in this direction, he added.
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Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Horticulture Commissioner, Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), Government of India, informed that honey was an integral part of government’s Integrated Medicinal System (IMS). Through NBHM, NBB was intended to create awareness through seminars and trainings and providing financial support for all available aspects of beekeeping including infrastructural facilities and R&D. He advised beekeepers to work in the field of value-added products in beekeeping to get more financial benefits and uplift their economy.
Dr. NK Patle, Executive Director, National Bee Board (NBB) has briefed about the central sector scheme entitled National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM) and practices aspects relating to beekeeping. He invited beekeepers to avail the facilities available under NBHM and adopt beekeeping in a scientific manner to get additional income through honey and other beehive products. He assured full support to beekeepers across the country under the NBHM scheme.
Speaking on the production of bees wax and its current status in the country, Dr. Balraj Singh, Project Coordinator, Honeybee and Pollinators (HB&P), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (IACR) said that in India, beekeeping was mainly practised for the production of honey only and therefore there is need to create awareness about diversification of beekeeping for production of various other beehive products. He also informed that deserted combs of Apisdorsata were the major source of bee wax production in the country.
Dipenkumar C Patel, Progressive Beekeeper & Director, One Bee Organic LLP, Gujarat introduced the participants to different types of honey, various bee products, its collection methods and types of equipment and machinery used.
Jaswant Singh, Tiwana Bee Farm, Ludhiana, Punjab inform that their firm was involved in the production of all kinds of bee products and equipment and machinery. His firm is involved in the production of Comb Foundation Sheets (CHS) from bees wax. The use of CFS is highly recommended in beekeeping as it reduces the time and effort of honeybees in the construction of their comb thus ultimately beekeepers will get more honey per hive.
Jai Prakash, Senior Manager, Indian Bank has informed that to address the issue of adulteration in honey and other beehive products, National Bee Board has launched online registration and developing a blockchain traceability system of the source of honey and other bee products. He showcased the procedure of online registration on Madhukranti Portal and requested all beekeepers and other stakeholders to come forward and register themselves on this portal.