DBCA students introduce beekeeping to local farmers of Ponda, Goa

Liza Pinhiero
29 Sep 2019
Don Bosco Agro-Ed Complex

Shelke explaining the bee keeping techniques to local farmers of Ponda

Don Bosco College of Agriculture (DBCA) Sulcorna, RAWEP students group of Panchwadi-Ponda organised a seminar for the farmers on Apiary (bee house0, Bee-keeping for honey production in the village panchayat hall on September 22, 2019.
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Rajan Shelke, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Entomology was invited as a resource Person to give a talk in seminar.

Apiculture has currently become a revenue generating source in agriculture and therefore, young farmers are more likely to opt this project, said Shelke. He explained how scientific rearing of honeybees on a commercial scale benefitted many farmers in Goa by pollinating crops. Unlike traditional method of burning hives and extraction honey, the modern methods help in extracting honey without killing honeybees and damaging the honey combs, thus benefiting crops and gaining financially from rearing bees he added.

He also described the four types of bees found in India. Apis dorsata, the largest and ferocious honey bee, which builds hive and produces large quantity of honey but unsuitable for rearing. Apis indica- ( satode ) a medium sized bee that builds hive in the tree trunks, mud walls, earthen pots etc., and is easier to domesticate. Apis florea- ( badyale) small sized bee producing less honey and Trigona sps a stingless bee that builds hive in the hollow portion of the bamboo.

The bee colony reared in the box consists of three castes that work hand in hand. The queen bee lays eggs, the worker bees undertake 80% of the job from constructing comb to protecting the hive, collecting nectar and pollens to preparing food and raising young ones to clearing dead bodies. The last one is drone bees whose sole function is only to fertilise the queen during nuptial flight and then starve to death. The strength of the colony is determined by the number of workers in the hive.

Instructing the farmers Shelke said, bee boxes should be inspected every fortnight and the bottom board should be cleaned to protect box from ant attack. Wax moth larvae should be destroyed if found on the bottom board. The box is divided in different chambers, the lower portion is kept for brooding and the upper stacks are used for producing honey. Bees should be provided with concentrated sugar syrup during monsoon he added.

Speaking on the method of extracting honey Shelke said, mechanical devices such as honey extractor is used to extract honey without damaging the comb. The frames are inserted in the holder and spun to extract honey by centrifugal force. Bee-keeping provides honey which is a valuable nutritional food and Bee-wax is also used to manufacture cosmetics besides the honey bees’ act as biological pollinating agents increasing the agricultural yield. In conclusion Shelke gave the example of how the coconut yield has increased at Don Bosco Farm Sulcorna in last two years after the installation of bee-boxes on campus. The students have learnt to handle bees and rear them with love and without fear he added.

About 30 farmers from the surrounding villages attended the seminar and expressed their interested in Bee-keeping.

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