Beekeeping or apiculture is one of the world’s oldest occupations and has been in existence since antiquity. It is relatively inexpensive and hugely rewarding, as the benefits are many and varied. FSL-India decided to engage in beekeeping due to the increasing global problem caused by non-organic agriculture, i.e. the loss of pollinators, which are, just as the targeted pests, killed by the pesticides used.
Obviously, this doesn’t just impact the plants treated, but it can have adverse effects on the whole region, depending on the quantity of pesticides used. Even if one is only using organic agricultural methods as we are doing in FSL-India CEL’s SAP-K Project, the yield of the crops can decrease. So, it is very advantageous and in general, beneficial for the surrounding ecosystems to increase the number of pollinating insects, for e.g., by keeping bees. Besides, we will get delicious, organic honey.
To learn more about beekeeping, some volunteers visited the Agriculture Department last summer. Since then, FSL-India’s Centre for Experiential Living has planted bee-attracting plants and conducted a training for the local community on beekeeping methods. The team also tried to identify more people who would like to take up beekeeping, as the nearest beekeeping society only gives out hive boxes in quantities of 10, or more.
Yesterday, finally, after quite a while of waiting and numerous tomorrows on which the boxes should have come, we got two hives delivered – just in time for pollinating the flowering mangos and of course, all the other plants too. The first bee-sting being already ticked off on our beekeeping To-Do List, we will now have to put the theoretical knowledge we received at the Agriculture Department into practice and hopefully, successfully maintain our new bees.
We, at FSL-India look forward to ‘harvesting’ our delicious home-grown honey very shortly and also to promote and spread awareness on the benefits of apiculture.