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Beekeeping and sustainable livelihoods

It has been found that bees are excellent pollinators which help majority of flowers convert into fruit or vegetables. Without bees, one-third of the food we eat would not be available. Forget about honey, pollen and royal jelly. Just think of a world without beans, tomatoes, onions and carrots, not to mention the hundreds of other vegetables, oilseeds and fruits that are dependent upon bees for pollination.

Bees pollinate about one-sixth of the world's flowering plant species and some 400 of its agricultural plants.Poorly pollinated plants produce fewer, often misshapen, fruits and lower yields of seed with inevitable consequences upon quality, availability and price of food.Pesticides may kill the bees quickly or, worse, kill slowly. If not immediately killed, bees can carry the contaminated pollen back to the colony where it enters the food chain and kills many more.Biological pesticides, however, are relatively safe to bees.

In continuation of our integrated model, we installed 5 boxes of bees of type ‘ApisMallifera’ in our field having drumstick trees and mustard fields in nearby plots. Both drumstick and mustard are excellent sources of pollen which helped multiply honeybee population. We had a bumper yield of 10kg honey per box over 2 months of spring. Additionally, we also got pollen, wax and propoliswhich have nutritional, craft, manufacturing, and medical applications.

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