Chennai, April 25, 2011: Following is a report dated April 2, 2011 by Dr. Pardeep Kumar Chhuneja on the 5-day beekeeping training course for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe farmers of Punjab conducted during March 27-31, 2011 by the Department of Entomology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (PAU). According to the news dated March 26, 2011 in the Times of India, Ludhiana the first batch underwent this training during March 21-25, 2011.
A five-day 'Basic Beekeeping Training Course' organized by the Department of Entomology, PAU, for the second batch of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) farmers and farm women of Punjab, conducted under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) concluded on March 31, 2011.
Congratulating the 41 trainees who underwent training in the course, the Chief Guest, Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU said that subsidiary occupations such as beekeeping could help to enhance the economic well-being of the large number of people in India living below the poverty line and earning very low incomes. He suggested the trainee participants to maintain contacts with the PAU apiculture experts and try to excel in the beekeeping profession through hard work and innovation. He stated that it was a matter of pride that Punjab with 30,000 beekeepers was contributing about 30 per cent to the country's honey production. The trained bee farmers could further enhance the production levels, Dr. Kang hoped. He gave away certificates to the trainees and released the Proceedings of the recently held national level Honey Festival cum Beekeeping Workshop at PAU. Copies of the proceeding were also given to the trainees.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Satbir Singh Gosal, Director of Research, PAU informed that the training course was organized under RKVY, wherein the trainees were reimbursed their to and fro travel fare and provided free literature on beekeeping. He described beekeeping profession as greatly beneficial to farmers as it required low investment and improved production through multiplication of bees and enhancement of crop productivity through pollination. He told that efforts were on at PAU to develop improved strains of bees and efficient equipment and processes, including migration of bee colonies to give a boost to beekeeping in the state.
Dr. Davinder Singh Cheema, Dean, College of Agriculture in his talk illustrated the advantage of beekeeping for horticulture crops. He gave examples of vegetable hybrids, where bees offered a remarkable efficiency in pollination as they, attracted towards the colourful flowers, visited them and helped in the transfer of pollen. Dr. Cheema advised the participants to take up beekeeping as their income enhancing profession.
Additional Director of Extension Eduction, Dr. Harjit Singh Dhaliwal said that training helped to pursue and achieve targets. He emphasized the need for better marketing through selection of better market place, obtaining better prices through improvement of quality, promotion of value addition, etc. He advised beekeepers to take up marketing in their own hands in order to enhance their profitability. Additional Director of Communication, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman suggested participants to keep in touch with the technical advancements and technology generation through reading farm literature published by the PAU.
Earlier, Dr. Ashok Kumar Dhawan, Head, Department of Entomology, PAU, said that PAU had been a pioneer in the successful introduction, establishment, multiplication and dissemination of Italian honey bees throughout the country. This brought about the commercialization of beekeeping in India in general and Punjab in particular. This further enabled the country to export good quality of honey to developed western countries. With the efforts of PAU experts, Punjab today was a leading state in apiary honey production and had emerged as the hub of beekeeping industry in the country.
Dr. Pradeep Kumar Chhuneja, Technical Coordinator of the Training Course, provided an overview of the activities carried out for the participants during the training course. He said that in this course the trainees were imparted both theoretical and practical training on various aspects of beekeeping. This included species of honey bees, their castes, division of labour, life cycle of Italian honey bees; various considerations for starting beekeeping; design and application of various apiculture equipment and machinery; seasonal bee management practices; management of bee enemies and diseases including the recent problem of Varroa and its management, problems and remedies for swarming, robbing and queenlessness; queen bee rearing techniques; honey extraction and collection of other bee products, mainly beeswax, royal jelly, pollen and propolis. The trainees were also taken on a tour to private beekeepers and their apiaries as also apiculture equipment and processing plant manufacturing industry.
Dr. Jaspal Singh proposed the Vote of Thanks.
April 2, 2011
Pardeep K. Chhuneja, In-charge, Apiculture Unit, Department of Entomology, PAU.