Chennai, June 1, 2011 (Press Note by: Dr. Pardeep K. Chhuneja): A 5-day advanced beekeeping training course on Bee Pathology was conducted during May 9 - 13, 2011 at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). The course dealt with 'Bee Enemies and Diseases and Their Management', and was organized by the Directorate of Extension Education, PAU, Ludhiana in collaboration with the University's Department of Entomology. The course was attended by 20 extension scientists and officers of PAU from Krishi Vigyan Kendras and Farm Advisory Services Scheme in different districts of Punjab, as also officers of the State departments of Agriculture/Horticulture.
Dr. Mukhtar Singh Gill, Director of Extension Education, PAU, was the chief guest at the valedictory function held on May 13, 2011. He distributed certificates and some beekeeping literature among the participating trainees. In his address, Dr. Gill talked about the fast-paced progress of beekeeping in the State and the efforts of the PAU in developing beekeeping technologies and its mission to disseminate these to the grass-root level. He advised the extension officers concerned with beekeeping to provide all needed clinical help and guidance to the beekeepers in their respective regions in order to safeguard beekeeping against the threat of bee enemies and diseases. He hoped that the up-to-date knowledge and skills obtained by the trainees would help in furthering beekeeping development in the State. Scientific management is the ladder to the success of beekeeping, he added.
In his address Dr. Gill also stressed the importance of following non-chemical methods of managing the various menaces faced by the bees and of avoiding the use of antibiotics in beekeeping. He advised the trainee officers to provide feedback to the PAU on various diseases and other menaces in beekeeping, so that timely strategies for their management could be devised. Trained extension officers with their long field experience could even be resource persons to the PAU's advanced training programmes. He assured the trainees all technical guidance and help from the PAU.
Dr. H.S. Bajwa, Coordinator of the training programme, welcomed the chief guest, dignitaries and all trainee participants. Dr. A.K. Dhawan, Head, Department of Entomology, in his talk told that this training programme was constued as providing immediate help and remedy to the beekeepers of the State. He felt that beekeeping needed to be promoted in the State also for realizing optimum pollination of various crops for increasing yields. He advised the trainees to be vigilant about the pesticide and antibiotic residues in honey. They should arrange to send honey samples to PAU for their evaluation.
Giving details of the training programme, Dr. Pardeep K. Chhuneja, Technical Coordinator of the programme, informed that 10 lectures and 8 practicals/demonstrations were arranged on various aspects of beekeeping. He told that scientists and officers were trained in the field and laboratory diagnosis, causes, spread, nature of damage in the case of various bee diseases, pests and enemies as also their management strategies. The officer trainees were also taught the techniques of collection of diseased bee/brood samples and their further preparation for dispatch to the Bee Pathology Labs for identification/diagnosis. Dr. Chhuneja informed that the trainees were also trained in the techniques of breeding disease- and mite-resistant honey bees. The trainees were taken on a trip to apiculture industry for their field exposure. Dr. Jaspal Singh, Entomologist, presented the Vote of Thanks.