By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 9 Mar: Governor Lt Gen Gurmit Singh (Retd) has directed the Horticulture Department to install bee keeping boxes in the world famous Valley of Flowers. He said that ex-servicemen should also be given training in beekeeping. Beekeeping should be promoted in the hill districts of the state especially in the marginal areas. Women self-help groups should also be associated with this work.
He said that there is immense potential for beekeeping in the Valley of Flowers. All the people of Uttarakhand should get the benefit of this boon and blessings of nature. The taste and quality of honey produced in Uttarakhand is of the highest quality in the whole world. There is a need to establish the state’s honey as the best brand in the international market.
On Wednesday, honey was extracted from the boxes of bees kept in the Raj Bhawan. This year, about 40 kg of honey was obtained from 5 boxes. It is worth noting that the honey produced in Raj Bhawan is presented every year by the Governor to dignitaries across the country as a gift from Uttarakhand. The Melifera species of Bees have been kept in Raj Bhawan.
Additional Secretary Swati S Bhadauria, Director, Horticulture, Dr H S Baweja and all senior officers of Horticulture Department were present. The Governor gave instructions to increase the number of Bee keeping boxes next year.
The Governor pointed out that bee keeping would be helpful in doubling the income of farmers in the state. In future, Uttarakhand would find a unique identity in honey production worldwide with its own brand. Nature has given a unique gift like the Valley of Flowers to Uttarakhand. Apart from being the centre of attraction from the point of view of tourism, beekeeping should also be encouraged there. He pointed out that, in the hill areas of Uttarakhand, the agricultural land is less and the land holdings are small. Here beekeeping can be a big means of economic prosperity, particularly for small farmers and landless people. This business is not even a competitor to agriculture, but is its subsidiary of agriculture. Uttarakhand’s medicinal plants, aromatic plants, organic and natural farming would benefit local people. It would also help prevent migration.
Dr HS Baweja, Director, Horticulture, who was present on the occasion, said that, at present, there are 7020 beekeepers in Uttarakhand, who produce 12,175 quintals of honey annually. A total of 74,221 beehives exist in the state. The Horticulture Department conducts a 7 day training programme every year under the State Sector Scheme for people interested in beekeeping. Since 2015 till now, 11,441 people have been trained in beekeeping.