Bees, like other insects, are part of a food chain. The importance of bee keeping is enormous. Without bees, agriculture is almost impossible. Bees are well known for pollination and the service of pollinating flowers is necessary for sustainable agricultural farming. There is a famous quote from Albert Einstein “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years left to live” and this may be quite true for the availability of huge amount of food, because of the existence of bees. About 60-70% agricultural /horticultural crops depend upon honeybees for cross pollination. Honey is the prime hive product. Other useful products are bee wax, propolis, pollen, royal jelly, bee venom etc. The growing market potential for honey and its products has resulted emerging of bee keeping as an economically viable and socially acceptable agro-based enterprise, particularly for socioeconomic development of landless, small and marginal farmers as well as unemployed rural youth. Thus, beekeeping has come up as an important agricultural activity which shows the way of self-employment and entrepreneurship among the rural youth as well as subsidiary income for the practicing farmers.
In view of the importance of beekeeping, DAC & FW, GoI has sanctioned Rs. 921.15 lakh/- to the ICAR in the month of January 2021 for organizing 600 trainings (500 physical and 100 online trainings) on scientific beekeeping by 100 KVKs across the country under National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM) of National Bee Board (NBB). Accordingly, ICAR-ATARI Kolkata received 50 % of the sanctioned budget i.e. Rs. 64,48,050.00 during 2020- 21 financial year and again the rest 50% of the sanctioned budget i.e. Rs. 64,48,050.00 during 2021- 22 financial year from the Council for organizing training on scientific beekeeping by selected 15 KVKs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Port Blair), Odisha (Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Gajapati, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Jharsuguda, Puri and Sundargarh-I) and West Bengal (Cooch Behar, Dekshin Dinajpur), Murshidabad (Addl.), Nadia, South 24 Parganas (Nimpith) and Birbhum) in this zone. ICAR-ATARI Kolkata released Rs. 460575 during 2020- 21 financial year and again Rs. 460575/- during 2021- 22 financial year and thus a total of Rs. 921150/- to each selected KVKs till date.
- To train the farmers, rural youth, women for engagement in beekeeping and production of higher quantity and good quality of honey and other high value beehive products, viz.; bee wax, bee pollen, propolis, royal jelly, comb honey, bee venom, etc. in regards to income generation and livelihood support.
- To maximize, economic, ecological and social benefits by diversification through beekeeping.
- To promote agri- entrepreneurs and agri- startup in beekeeping/ honey production through either individual or group approach (SHGs/ FPCs/ FPOs)
Salient achievements of the project: