Beekeepers laugh all the way to bankPeople from the Chepang community involved in beekeeping in the district have adopted modern technology to boost the productivity of honey.
People from the Chepang community involved in beekeeping in the district have adopted modern technology to boost the productivity of honey.
Aita Ram Chepang of Kankada, Makawanpur, has replaced traditional log hives with modern and more scientific hives.
Last year, Aita Ram had added 80 modern hives in his farm and had generated around Rs700,000 by selling honey. This year, he has almost doubled the number of the hives to 150 and is expecting the revenue to increase accordingly.
Aita Ram’s success has encouraged other in the district to follow suit. Around 180 households are involved in beekeeping. They have around 5,000 modern hives.
Most of them are rearing Mellifera species of bees as this species produces higher amount of honey. Earlier they used to rear Serina bees, which is smaller in size and less productive. While rearing Serina, a household used to produce 2-4 kg of honey, but after switching to Mellifera, they are producing around 50-100kg.
“Aita Ram is expected to sell around 1,200 to 1,500kg honey this year,” said Nirmal Gadal, chief of District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) of Makawanpur. “Every household in Kankada is involved in commercial beekeeping.”
Previously, beekeepers from Chitwan, Hetauda, Kathmandu and Sarlahi used to bring their hives to Kankada in winter to feed bees with Chiuri nectar which is a rich source of sugar. Every year, they used to bring around 3,000 hives to Kankada. Then, the Chepangs used to work as porters to carry the hives and honey.
Gradually, the Chepang people also started beekeeping, but in a traditional way. Subsequently, the DADO trained them with modern techniques, and every house of the region now has bee hives.