6-12 May, Chukha: The southern foothills of the country has been the home territory for different types of local honey bees (Apis cerana) since time immemorial. It is not uncommon to come across the traditional practice of bee keeping in locally designed log hives around the houses. These hives are used to capture the local bees in migration and also for honey production. The age old local hives adjacent to the rural huts and houses conveys the clear message that there is an indispensable bond between the rural populace and the local bees.
RNR RDC Jakar organised a 7 days local bee keeping training from 6 to 12 May 2014 in collaboration with RLDC, Tsimasam, and the Dzongkhag Livestock Sector, Chukha dzongkhag. The main aim of the training program was to impart basic scientific knowledge and skills on local bee management in modern moveable hive frames and to increase honey production in the long term.
During the week-long training period the participants were trained on transferring of bees from local log hive to modern moveable frame hive, uniting colony, dividing colony, management of swarming and absconding behavior in bees, seasonal management, awareness on bee diseases, pollination service, quality control, making wax sheet and harvesting.
Participants were also taken on an observational tour to study the local flora and to involve them in practical aspects of bee colony management.
At present there are 65 Apis cerana queen right colonies, 40 colonies in traditional log hives and 25 colonies in moveable frame hives. In the existing management practice the average honey harvest per colony per harvest is about 2kg from local log hive and 4kg from modern moveable frame hive in Apis cerana.
After the completion of the training, it is expected that the existing bees in traditional log hive is transferred into the modern moveable frame hive. With the scientific management of bees in the modern hives the annual honey harvest get increased thereby, increasing the household income of the beekeeping farmers of Dzedokha, Chukha from the sale of local honey. In the long term it is expected that the training will develop the confidence of the farmers to upscale the activity.
The Renewable Natural Resources, Research and Development Centre (RNR RDC), Jakar has been training farmers in local beekeeping in potential pockets in the southern foothills since 2006 in collaboration with the different stakeholders. The training was made possible with fund support from the RGoB.
Submitted by: Prasad Bhujel, RDC Jakar
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