Kohima (Nagaland) [India], Dec13 (ANI): The people of Nagaland have been inherent beekeepers since time immemorial and it's a sustainable source of income for many villagers.
Recently, Nagaland Beekeeping
Honey Mission (NBHM) felicitated beekeepers coming from far-flung villages in Dimapur on the occasion of the first Nagaland Honey Bee Day to improvise the beekeeping business.
NBHM, a state government undertaking, promotes apiculture to preserve the distinct and delicious taste of Nagaland's honey and conserve the age-old practice of beekeeping.
"Today is gathering of the beekeepers and we have the award winners from all the districts and they are the role model of the state and some of the beekeepers are earning Rs.2.5 lakh per annum through beekeeping and other products," said Chubala Shilu, team leader NBHM.
The mission was driven towards promoting sustainable livelihood opportunities through beekeeping and taking initiatives for documenting and preserving this ancient art.
Nagaland honey is produced from four kinds of bees: the Asian Honeybee (Apis cerana) and Stingless Bee (Trigona iridipennis) which are reared domestically; while the wild species include the Rock Bee and Little Bee (Apis florae).
So far, NBHM has covered 400-plus villages through awareness programmes on the importance of beekeeping, trained more than 17,000 beekeepers, formed village beekeeping committees, developed scientific hives and established 30 common facility centres, two honey processing units including the first bee museum in the region.
"I have been into beekeeping business for 9 years and I earn up to Rs fifty/sixty thousand annually. I usually sell honey during January and this helps me to pay my children's school fees and others expenses," a beekeeper said.
Honey production in the state has crossed more than 400 MT per annum with NBHM efforts. The average honey consumption per capita per annum in the state is 100gm, compared to the national average of 8gm.
Because of its organic nature and good quality, the honey produced in Nagaland is in high demand in the domestic and international market. The NBHM has made apiculture a viable industry in the state and also increased honey consumption.
"My parents used it as medicine when I was a little. They would give me honey during my illness and that how I realized the importance of beekeeping. We were into traditional beekeeping but now the government has improvised the beekeeping," explained Yamba Phom, another beekeeper.
The state government has been providing technical support to improve the traditional methods of beekeeping and has been conducting awareness campaigns to preserve bee habitats in the state for better output. (ANI)