More bees, more fruit production: experts
Himachal Pradesh

More bees, more fruit production: experts

Solan, Sep 9: To give a fillip to beekeeping through queen bee rearing bees boosting productivity in horticultural crops like apple, 31 experienced beekeepers from Himachal Pradesh completed a three-week training programme at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni.The training was organised by the UHF’s Department of Entomology under the Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Programme.

Senior entomologist and programme coordinator Dr Harish Sharma said, “The state experiences low productivity and disease instances in honeybees due to the improper queens raising new colonies. Ifthe queens are raised from healthy and better performing colonies, the disease incidences will be less and the productivity will also be good.”

Dr JN Sharma, UHF’s Director of Research discussed the vital role played by bees in pollination and increasing the production and quality of various crops. Dr GC Sharma, Head Department of Entomologyspoke on the pioneering role played by the department in this field as a result of which the ICAR had rated the All India Coordinated Research Project running at the university as the Best Research and Training Center. Dr Raj Kumar Thakur, Joint Director (Communication) and former ICAR Project Coordinator of AICRP (Honey bees and Pollinators) stressed upon queen production by incorporating desired genes of higher productivity, gentle bee, having disease and mite resistance along with higher egg laying capacity.

Pollination plays a big role in the production of various horticulture and agricultural crops. The production of fruits like apple, cherry, pear, strawberry, oilseeds and various vegetable crops are highly dependent on pollination. At present, there are around 80,000 colonies and 1,500 beekeepers in the state.

The Himachal Pradesh government has been promoting beekeeping and breeding through its various schemes. Under these schemes, there are plans to have a bee breeder in every district. This provides a great opportunity for these trainees to establish themselves, as they have been fully equipped with technology and knowledge through this training. The participants also got an opportunity to visit PAU Ludhiana and interact with the scientists.(UNI)