Chennai, July 9, 2011 (by Pardeep Kumar Chhuneja): A two-day 'Advance Training Course on Bee Diseases and Enemies and Their Management' was organized by the Department of Entomology, Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana (PAU), on June 29-30, 2011, for progressive beekeepers of the State. The course was attended by 27 beekeepers from across Punjab.
Dr. Gursharan Singh, Dean, Post-graduate Studies, PAU was the Chief Guest at the concluding ceremony. Dr. S.S. Gosal, Director of Research, PAU was the Guest of Honour. Dr. J.S. Dhiman, Additional Director (Communication) also graced the occasion. Welcoming the dignitaries, guests and the trainees at the valedictory function, Dr. Pardeep Kumar Chhuneja, Unit Incharge (Apiculture) and Technical Coordinator of the course, stated that the course included ten lectures/practicals/demonstrations sessions on various aspects of bee pathology. The beekeepers got training in field diagnosis, causes, spread, nature of damage of various diseases and enemies and their management strategies. The trainees were also taught the techniques of collection of diseased bee/brood samples and their further preparation for dispatch to bee pathology labs for identification/diagnosis and also the techniques for screening their bee stock for resistance to diseases and mites.
In his speech as chief guest, Dr. Gursharan Singh informed that PAU was now the leading institute in apiculture in the country and with the concerted efforts of its researchers and intensive technology dissemination endeavors, the state had emerged as the hub of beekeeping activity in India contributing to more than 30 per cent of country's apiary honey production. He lauded the role of PAU in initiating experiential learning programme in apiculture for graduating agriculture students. He stated that such training programmes were mutually beneficial for both the trainers and the trainees, as the former got useful feed-back for conducting need-based research. Dr. S.S. Gosal lauded the role of PAU in leading apicultural research and also elaborated various issues that needed further research for the benefit of beekeepers. He felt that there was need to take up breeding work at this juncture, a study on the impact of water stagnation on bees and beekeeping, influence of transgenic cotton on development of bee colonies, as also the quality of honey and other bee products. Dr. J.S. Dhiman in his speech lauded the extension activities of the PAU in the development of beekeeping in the region and advised the beekeepers to regularly read PAU literature in order to update their beekeeping knowledge.
Appreciating the University's efforts in organizing the specialized training course, the beekeeper trainees presented their views about the training and made several suggestions to the PAU administration for furthering the development of beekeeping. The chief guest distributed free apiculture literature among the trainee participants.