21 May 2017, Wangdue: Apiculture or beekeeping activity has been introduced in Wangduephodrang for the first time. The Dzongkhag Livestock sector, Wangduephodrang has distributed 50 full-fledged strong Apis Mellifera (improved bees) bee hives to 16 interested and innovative farmers in Gangtey, Phobji and Dangchu gewogs and another 22 Apis Cerana(local bee) full-fledged strong bee hives to the farmers in Gasetshogom gewog.
Apis Mellifera (improved bees) were procured from the Bee Keepers Cooperative of Bhutan in Bumthang and Apis Cerana from Patselling Beekeeper group in Tsirang. The sector initiated the bee keeping activity as the Dzongkhag is assigned to produce honey as per the APA plan. Prior to the supply of bees in Phobji, Gantey and Dangchu gewogs field trial was conducted by the experts from the National Apiculture Program (NAP) based at the National Highland Research & Development Centre (NHR&DC), Jakar where honey bee keeping was found suitable and promising.
To boost foraging by bees sunflower and white clover seeds were also supplied to the selected bee farmers. The Livestock sector is also liaising with the agriculture sector of the Dzongkhag to advise and encourage the bee farmers in growing mustard and bucking wheat crops.
Honey bees play a significant role in the pollination of other important crops in addition to the honey produced by the honey bee. Many domestic and imported fruits and vegetables require pollination as do many flowering food. Even if a crop is not directly pollinated by a honey bee, the crop still benefits indirectly from being in an environment in which honey bees are working, due to the increased biodiversity in the area which stimulates the crop.
The supply of full-fledged strong honey bee hives and other basic bee equipments costs the livestock sector Nu. 1.20 million, with fund from the sector’s annual 2016-2017 budget and top up fund assistance from the GoI livestock project through the regional Livestock Development Center, West Central Region in Rubesa.
– Submitted by Ugyen, Dzongkhag Livestock Officer, Wangdue Dzongkhag
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