The above table clearly indicates that the beekeeping activity also provides economic support to the farmers through increased crop yield.
The enquiry with beekeepers regarding crop yield, employment generation, income, etc., revealed the following:
Increase in crop yield due to beekeeping matches with published data.
There is no increase in direct employment for few numbers of boxes with stationery beekeeping practices.
There is scope for increase in rural employment if number of boxes increase to minimum of 50 in case of Apis cerana and 20 in case of Apis mellifera with migration.
Beekeeping activity is essential in dry & irrigated areas with short term crops to increase quality and yield by inviting apiculturist to migrate bee boxes during respective crop flowering season.
The annual income will be sizeable if number of boxes is increased and migratory beekeeping is practiced.
On the whole, beekeeping activity has prominent role to play in enhancing crop yield, improving quality, generating income to the beekeepers through sale of honey and other bye-products in the State.
7.3 Economic Contribution The economic contribution of beekeeping activity is analysed by taking an example of a bee box with Apis cerana colony. The following parameters are taken to assess the economic contribution. The details are as follows:
Single Bee box with colony initial investment - Rs.4,000/-
(If subsidy is given, 50% is reduced)
Average Honey yield / box / annum - 7 kgs
Average price of raw honey / kg - Rs.350/-
Annual income from honey / box / annum - Rs.2,450/-
Income from colony multiplication (Nos./annum) - 3
Price / colony - Rs.1,500/-
Income from sale of bee colony (2/annum) - Rs.3,000/-
Average crop yield / acre / annum - Rs.12,000/-
Increase in crop yield due to beekeeping by 30% - Rs.3,600/-
(One box of Apis cerana / half acre of land)
Total income / annum / box (bee colony) - Rs.9,050/-
Expenditure / annum - Rs.1,000/-
Net Income / box of bee colony / annum - Rs.8,050/-
(Rounded off to Rs.8,000/- per bee box with colony)
The estimate is on average basis if no swarming of bee colonies happens and no disease attack of any kind. The effective control on predators, pesticides spray in own land and neighbours land.
On the whole, households benefit economically by beekeeping and generate employment to a limited extent.
Chapter – 8 : Scope for further expansion of Apiculture Activity Beekeeping activity is the lifeline of agriculture & horticulture activity. It provides pollination service in majority of the flora without harming the crops / flora. The migratory beekeeping is essential to increase crop yield and quality of agriculture and horticulture produce. It is essential to propogate beekeeping activity in dry areas, where the yield is very low due to scarcity of rain. There is tremendous scope for expansion of beekeeping activity. It requires serious consideration to follow up and provide need base service by the department through beekeeping assistants.
The department needs to prepare flora mapping and floral mapping from the cropping pattern every year throughout the state. Based on the acreage of crops required for beekeeping activity, the promotional steps may be taken up. For every hectare of crop area, five boxes of Apis cerana or two boxes of Apis mellifera can be placed for pollination services and honey collection along with other bye-products.
Based on the total crop area, the number of bee boxes of any one type can be calculated and the potential can be estimated. Average honey yield from Apis cerana is 7 kg/box/year. The field survey revealed that, there are beekeepers who collects 20 kg to 25 kg/box/year from Apis cerana colonies.
Apis mellifera is an European bee. The success in Karnataka is dismal due to the type of beekeeping practice (stationery) adopted, bird predator problem and climatic conditions. Apis mellifera requires migratory beekeeping practices and it yields average 40 kg/box/year. The colonies are difficult to maintain during lean flowering season.
The other products like bees-wax, pollen, propalis (Apis mellifera) and bee venom can be collected, if commercial beekeeping is practiced. These products have good demand in the market and fetch more revenue to the beekeepers.
Looking at all these aspects clearly indicate the kind of beekeeping potential available across the State, if 10% to 20% of the existing potential is harnessed, Karnataka will be notably placed on beekeeping and honey map of the Country along with Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and other States in the Country.
Chapter - 9 : Ways & Means to popularise Apiculture
9.0 The suggestions for propagation of beekeeping activity in the state based on the study is grouped under two categories viz., short term and long term suggestions. The focussed group discussions, observations made during field visits reveal that there is need for additions to be made in the apiculture scheme for effective expansion of the activity. These suggestions and strategies may be incorporated for overall development of beekeeping activity in the state for the benefit of farmers engaged in agriculture & horticulture along with beekeepers as well as the state in increasing crop yield.
9.1 Short Term Measures - Capacity building
Provide intensive training programme at different levels for beneficiaries based on the necessity under the scheme through active participation of progressive beekeepers in the area. During the training, the importance of migratory beekeeping need to be emphasized along with other high value added products of the activity.
To focus & propagating beekeeping activity as an entrepreneurial venture rather than a supplementary activity to support the farmers by creating intensive awareness and dovetailing the facilities available in the new Industrial Policy.
Officers of the Department need to be trained in creating awareness about the importance of Floral Mapping for providing boost to Apiculture Sector in the State. The Department officials responsible for Apiculture need to prepare Floral Map of their respective regions and consolidate as State Floral Map. This map needs to be updated from season to season by collecting data from the field level officers. This exercise will guide the beekeepers to plan their respective beekeeping activity for maximizing to benefits.
Arranging frequent visits of beneficiaries and progressive farmers to major beekeeping regions across the Country to instill awareness and build confidence to take up the activity and achieve progress.
Creating wide awareness about the economic & environmental benefits of beekeeping among the potential beekeepers, beneficiaries and farmers at large. The beekeeping activity in the State is presently focusing only on honey collection. There is need to create awareness about collection of other valuable products such as pollen, bees wax, bee venom, propalis & royal jelly.
Department to organize awareness programme to the Bankers, Insurance Companies regarding the importance of Apiculture as an income generating activity in order to provide loans for the activity to individual beneficiaries / SHGs and also to provide Insurance cover to infuse confidence among beekeepers. This will go a long way in encouraging Apiculture as an entrepreneurial activity.
There is shortage of field level officers, responsible for implementing the Apiculture & Madhuvana Development Schemes. The Department should take initiative to fill up the existing vacancies and appoint additional staff for giving thrust to Apiculture activity in the northern part of Karnataka where the activity is essential for crop yield but lagging behind to a large extent due to lack of staff.
Intensive awareness at all levels need to be created among farmers & horticulturists regarding the benefits and importance of Apiculture in increasing crop yield, improving quality of agriculture & horticulture produce, medicinal importance of honey, economic importance of other products, etc. The ease of Apiculture, low cost, less manual involvement, etc., need to be highlighted to motivate farmers to take up the activity and reap the benefits.
9.2 Long Term Measures - Strengthening the Institutional Framework
Facilitate beekeepers to form SHGs in the similar line existing in dairy sector, wherein beekeeping activity is taken up as a group activity enabling to make it more viable & income generating activity among the members of SHGs.
Encourage SHGs to have network with the other similar SHGs in beekeeping in the region to enable operating, collection & marketing of honey & other products in large scale on commercial footing. The networking of SHGs will also enable the members to take up migratory beekeeping, which will increase income multifold by increasing honey yield and other products, which are of commercial importance.
The existing Madhuvanas may be handed over to the interested progressive beekeepers to manage the activities under the supervision of Horticulture Department. The Department may provide initial funding from the existing schemes to upgrade basic infrastructure of Madhuvanas, wherever necessary. There is no need for promotion of new Madhuvanas unless it is absolutely necessary.
Integrate different schemes intended for development of apiculture viz. S-25, S-21, Madhuvana & SBY of State sector and National Horticulture Mission & RKVY of the Central sector in addition to ZP scheme. There should be a common guideline in order to avoid the confusion at the field level due to multiplicity of scheme.
Strengthen & upgrade the existing Beekeeping Training Institute at Bhagamandala, which is of tourist destination for foreigners (marked on the World Map). The training facilities attached to Madhuvanas at Chickmagalur, Dharwad, Gulbarga and other places may be upgraded with present infrastructure facilities. The Department may also look in to the feasibility of entrusting these beekeeping training facilities by involving private parties on PPP model.
Madhuvanas may also act as a Common Facility Centre for the beekeepers in & around the region for providing necessary facilities in the field of basic low cost honey processing units, basic quality control testing facilities, guidance cell, etc. In addition to this, SHGs willing to practice beekeeping activity on an economic scale may also be encouraged to take up quality control testing & packaging facility from other SHGs.
Establish Karnataka Beekeeping Board (KBB) in similar line with National Beekeeping Board (NBB) with the following salient features:
- The proposed KBB may be established in Public Private Partnership mode.
- The objective of KBB is overall development of beekeeping by popularizing state of art technologies relating to nucleus stock production, capacity building and training of bee breeders and beekeepers, processing and quality control of bee products, etc.
Promotion of scientific beekeeping and serve as advisory body to the Government on the subject.
The Board may comprise of 10 - 15 members representing various stakeholders including beekeepers, beekeepers societies, NGOs promoting beekeeping activity, representatives of Horticulture Department, processing units, marketing agencies, etc. An officer in the rank of Additional Director, Horticulture Department may be appointed as Ex-officio Executive Director.
Chapter – 10 : Recommended Policy Changes in the Scheme
Extend Interest Subsidy to the beekeepers / SHGs, who avail loan assistance from Banks / Financial Institutions for Apiculture.
Introduce necessary changes in the scheme to take up activities like management of Madhuvanas, migratory beekeeping, providing common facility centre covering testing, grading, quality control & packaging of honey and honey products on PPP model.
Linking supply of bee colonies with boxes through progressive beekeepers at a subsidized rate.
Integrating the various existing schemes for development of Apiculture and implement single programme for effective implementation of the scheme.
Certification & Brand Registration may be encouraged for export of honey to various overseas countries.
Dovetail existing schemes in Agriculture & Horticulture Department for creating awareness for Apiculture among the farmers and other beneficiaries (non-Apiculturists) in all the activities of the Department.
Annexe – 1
Details of Districts & Taluks in Agro Climatic Zones of Karnataka