Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Money From Honey

Several white wooden boxes have been spread along the mound below the giant hills. These modern beehives are home for millions of bees to produce sweet honey.

Bharat Giri, local resident of Shaktikhor, has been involving in beekeeping business for 12 years. He owns 25 hives that produce some 8-9 tons of honey annually. "At the beginning, it was difficult to get the good price of honey because we had to supply our product to limited dealers." he said. Now, they sell honey to Nepal Beekeeping Association and other dealers. Bharat's net annual income from honey is around NPR 100,000.

However, it is not so easy to deal with bees. They have to move the beehives to different places depending upon the flowering season of the particular region. They move the beehives to Dang, the western region, during October (mustard season) and to Sarlahi and Mahottari, the eastern region during February (rudilo, Pogostemon benghalensis and sisau, Dalbergia sissoo season). Bharat said that there is not enough nectar in mustard flowers that blossom in Chitwan. Boxes are transported during night in the truck. It is challenging during monsoon, the non-flowering season, when they have to feed sugar-water solution to bees for more than two months. "Some 4 quintal of sugar will be consumed" Bharat said. He also emphasized that protection of forest and eco-system is vital for the welfare of bees and the business.

The species of bees that found in the boxes is Mellifera (Apis mellifera) which is originally brought from Godavari. Now, it is widespread all over the places. Cerana (Apis cerana), the local species and smaller than Mellifera, do not prefer to live in the boxes, but live in houses and traditionally built wooden hives. Cerana steal sugar that is kept for Mellifera during monsoon, but latter chased them away or killed them.

Bees work everyday except during adverse weather condition. Taste and significance of honey produced in particular flowering season would be different. Like honey produced from Phaphar (Fagopyrum esculentum) nectar is regarded as good for diabetes patients.

Flowering of Chyuri (Bassia butyracea) is just over. Local people have plenty of honey in storage that is produced from Chyuri nectar, which is much tastier.


  1. Bharat ji i will be very greatfull if u contact me. My mob no is 9856028628

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