With modern techniques constantly being developed, Beekeeping gets more interesting and economically viable.
Recently, a new device developed by a young Bengaluru school team for beekeepers made the news. The iBeeHive, not only allows the beekeeper to remotely monitor the health of bees but also kill pests that infest the hive. It fits into any beehive and can be connected to the beekeeper’s Wi-Fi-enabled smartphone. Two different sensors are used in the iBeeHive device. One is an infra-red sensor fitted at the entrance of the box, used for keeping tabs on incoming and outgoing bees and the other sensor is used for maintaining optimal temperature (35 Celsius).
Goa has just 4 registered Beekeepers in the state with 200 bee colonies. But according to an apiculturist, there are about 17 known bee-keepers in Goa who collectively produced close to 500 kgs of honey annually. The benefits of beekeeping are many and bees are considered a farmer’s friend. With honey gaining importance as a medicine and aphrodisiac, commercial honey cannot make up for pure, natural honey. This honey is sold at prices ranging anywhere between rupees 500 to 1000 per kilo.
The Jogati Nature Farm at Bhirondem, Sattari, the brainchild of Fr. Inacio Almeida, promotes Beekeeping. Here’s a small tutorial by a worker in the local language, Konkani explaining the process of beekeeping. (source Youtube goamovie)
Other farms that find beekeeping a lucrative business are The Nanu Plantation and the Don Bosco Farm at Sulcorna, Chinmaya Tansilkar, at Neturlim, Suprajit Raikar, Rajendra Naik, Mollem, Dias Farm, Dharbandora, Melvin De Souza at Carasawada, Peter at Assagaon, among others.
Beekeeping not only increases agricultural yield through pollination but also livelihoods of the farmers’. Certain species of vegetables like cabbage, coriander, cauliflower, cucumber, carrot, melon, onion, pumpkin, radish, turnip, (most of which grow in Goa) are known to benefit from bee pollination.
ICAR, Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute, Old Goa, offers all kinds of help to promote beekeeping.