Note: 1. Flowering season for the agriculture crops varies from location to location based on agro climatic conditions.
2. The flowering season for agriculture crops under irrigation differs from dry / rainfed crops.
Chapter – 6 : Effectiveness of Madhuvana & Apiculture Scheme
6.0 Effectiveness of the scheme has been assessed based on the interaction with 605 beneficiaries under the SBY, Madhuvana & Apiculture development scheme through Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and discussions with stake holders including officials, societies and progressive beekeepers. The zone-wise and district-wise villages covered and sample size is given in Annexe – 2.
6.1 Highlights of the Study Highlights on the outcome of the study based on the Focussed Group Discussions with the beneficiaries, interaction office bearers of beekeeping societies and discussion with the stakeholders;
There are two varieties of Apis cerana viz., red & black. The black variety is more furious than red variety.
Majority (95%) are practicing Apis cerana in the state.
Apis mellifera beekeeping is practiced in Dakshina Kannada & Uttara Kannada Districts only.
Stationery beekeeping activity is prominent in the State.
Migratory beekeeping activity is very rare in the State.
Apis mellifera has been tried in many places in the past but could not succeed in maintaining and propagating further. So, they have lost the colony forever.
On the whole, beekeeping activity is not very serious business in the State but it is a hobby and passive activity along with dominant horticulture activity.
The beneficiaries are trained in the first level and given bee boxes with colony in these two skills. They are interested in expanding the activity with limited resources.
Information about other products of beekeeping like Pollen collection, Royal jelly, Bee venom, Bees wax other than honey and crop yield is not known to the beneficiaries / beekeepers.
The prospective beekeepers need higher level of training in beekeeping along with knowledge about other bee products.
A knowledge of colony division for expansion of beekeeping activity and also generate revenue by selling bee colony is limited.
Awareness about beekeeping in dry & plain areas and also in other areas of all the 10 agro climatic zones is inadequate. Those farmers, who have knowledge about traditional beekeeping in hilly area with forest, are in beekeeping activity but there is no growth. On the contrary, some of the traditional beekeepers have lost the colony due to disease, food scarcity during non-flowering season and stop the beekeeping activity.
Major predators of bees are snake, ants, lizardous, birds, etc.,
Beekeeping activity is severely damaged during mango season due to spraying chemical pesticides in the neighbourhood. Further, the pesticides spray to vegetable crops and grapes cause destruction of bee colony.
Stationery Beekeeping activity is sustained without much of effort in hilly, malnad, forest area and plantation crops. The similar activity is unable to sustain in plain & dry areas due to non-availability of vegetation. So, the migratory beekeeping practices are advised but the farmers require adequate knowledge about beekeeping and migratory beekeeping practices.
Some of the beneficiaries are in the initial stages of colony development could not offer any opinion regarding honey yield, increase in population due to bee pollination, facilitation service and other products.
Honey Coop. Societies in Sakleshpur, Kodagu, Uttara Kannada and other places do not receive honey from local sources for processing and marketing honey. These Societies are procuring raw honey from North India for processing, bottling & marketing honey.
Hardly few Beekeepers Cooperative Societies are engaged in collection of honey from local sources (Apis cerana) due to high cost but they are collecting wild honey (Apis dorsata) and imported honey from North India at low price.
LAMP societies are catering to the development units of tribals in the State. They have various activities, which include collection & marketing of honey.
LAMP societies at Bhagamandala & B R Hills are engaged in collection of forest honey and sell in bulk to pharma companies engaged in manufacture of ayurvedic & other medicinal products. Bhagamandala LAMP society has not collected any honey during the previous financial year.
More than 95% of the beekeepers sell raw honey locally against orders due to collection of small quantities like 5 kg., 10 kg., at a time.
Apis cerana honey yield ranges from 3 kg / annum to as high as 25 kg / annum / box depend on the location, availability of floral nectar and division beekeeping practices.
Price of raw honey sold locally and directly to the consumer is ranging from Rs.250/kg to Rs.650/kg depends on location, availability and demand for honey.
Beekeepers Co-op. Societies collect raw honey at Rs.120 to Rs.170 per kg. So, local beekeepers do not sell the raw honey to these Societies. The processed honey is priced at lowest price compare to the price of raw honey from beekeeping.
Mechanical extraction of honey is practiced by these beekeepers due to active involvement of department beekeeping assistants who carry mechanical extractor to help them extract honey and save the hive for future collection of honey.
Majority of the beneficiaries extract honey by using mechanical extractor with the help of local beekeeping assistance.
The foundation sheet which saves time & money for the beekeepers is manufactured in Madikeri and supplied through Beekeepers Co-op. Societies. Many beneficiaries do not know, where to buy the foundation sheets.
Madhuvanas set up by horticulture department are functioning and helping to propogate bee colonies for beekeepers to the limited extent.
Farmers are interested to try Apis mellifera colonies in stationery beekeeping practice but it requires migration to provide adequate floral nectar to collect more honey and generate other products, which are of economic importance.
The geographical area with forest, collection of large volume of honey by wild bee - Apis dorsata. This honey is available at lower price compared to honey from Apis cerana. The customers complain that the cheaper honey is being adulterated with honey from Apis cerana.
The beneficiaries do not have any precise idea about floral calendar and its usefulness in beekeeping activity.
The increase in crop yield due to beekeeping observed by beneficiaries is an approximation.
The availability of floral nectar in coffee plantation is restricted to mainly coffee flowering season. So, honey yield is very low in this area. Other flowering plants are scarce in this location due to coffee plantation.
Honey yield is prominent where coconut and areca nut gardens along with other flowering vegetation are available.
Farmers want free bee boxes with colony for expansion and propagation of beekeeping activity.
Drought situation is hampering beekeeping activity and many colonies were loosed due to swarming.
Some of the government officials, bank officials, employees of horticulture department have Apis cerana colonies in their gardens as hobby and production of honey for own use.
The forest honey – Apis dorsata is being collected by the tribals in forest area and sells to LAMP societies in their respective locations at lower price (Rs.120 to Rs.170 per kg). The tribals are not showing much interest in beekeeping activity since the wild honey is readily available in the forest.
The facilities in Bhagamandala Beekeeping Training Institute are inadequate needs upgradation.
In the dry agro climatic zones are mainly rain fed short term crops with minor irrigation crops. The stationery beekeeping in these zones is sporadic.
About 75% of raw honey from Apis cerana is sold without brand name. Only few brand names of individual beekeepers are seen in the market like Prakruthi Honey, Giridarshini, CBK Madikeri, Chandana, Cauveri Honey.
Bottled honey in glass bottles, pet bottles and second hand glass bottles are sold with label and without label in local shops. Extensive sale is observed in Madikeri. The sale of honey with comb (Apis cerana) is also seen in Madikeri.
Varieties of honey based on flowering season are known to beekeepers in Kodagu district. Based on the season, type of honey the rate is fixed for raw honey.
The Scheme has achieved expansion of high yield by beekeeping.
All the organizations related Apiculture have played their role in imparting knowledge about beekeeping during training and field demos to all the beekeepers & beneficiaries.
The department had Madhu Mahotsavas in various places to popularize beekeeping but it needs to be taken to higher level in order to create awareness and expansion of the activity. Publicity materials in the form of booklets, pamphlets have been printed and distributed for propaganda to benefit the public.
Success rate of the scheme – Suvarna Bhoomi Yojana, District & State Sector Scheme for Madhuvana & Beekeeping Development Schemes is reasonably good.