Bee farmers in rural Makwanpur say no to harmful chemicalsA Chepang settlement at a rural village in Makwanpur district has taken a bold move.
Published at : November 19, 2018
Updated at : November 19, 2018 10:00
A Chepang settlement at a rural village in Makwanpur district has taken a bold move. They have stopped using chemical pesticides and fertiliser to grow crops as its harmful effects have become visible in bee rearing. Farmers said that their bee population started to decline due to overuse of harmful chemicals on farmland.
Farmers in Kakada village of Raksirang Rural Municipality are now using organic pesticides.
“We have barred farmers from using harmful chemicals on their field to protect bees,” said Raksirang Rural Municipality Ward Chairman Singh Bahadur Chepang. “The move is aimed at protecting bees and producing organic honey,” he said.
According to reports, use of chemical pesticides and fertiliser in farms has three types of harmful effects—loss in production of honey, contamination of bee products, and reduction in the yield of cross pollinated crops. “The harmful effects may be due to the direct exposure of honey bees to pesticides or through indirect contact with their residues.”
The United Nations report
says that use of insecticides has caused potentially disastrous decline in global bee population, a vital pollinating element in food production for the growing global population.
It said that the increasing use of chemicals in agriculture damages bees and weakens their immune systems, with laboratory studies showing that some insecticides and fungicides can act together to be 1,000 times more toxic to bees.
They can also affect their sense of direction, memory and brain metabolism. Herbicides and pesticides may reduce the availability of plants that bees need for food and for the larval stages of some pollinators.
Nirmal Gadal, an expert at the Ministry of Agricultural, Land Management and Cooperatives of Province 3 said that the farmers in the Chepang settlement do not use any type of chemicals now and have adopted sustainable farming practices. “The initiation to stop using harmful chemicals was taken by the farmers themselves.”
The local people have targeted to promote the region as honey production “pocket” area as demand for organic honey has been growing and farmers are making handsome income from bee farming.
Last year, the local people added 5,000 units of the beehives, according the ministry. “This year, they have also added the same number of beehives.”
As a food source to feed their bees, the Chepang community has started expanding the plantation areas of Chiuri.
Bee rearing has become a good source of earning for many farmers. A local farmer, Aaitaram Chepang said he brought home Rs1.5 million this year by selling honey. His income levels have soared above his wildest expectations by adopting modern beekeeping technology.
He had 150 beehives last
year. Encouraged by the handsome earnings, he added 30 improved beehives this year. Honey is
priced Rs250-300 per kg at the
Mellifera has become the first choice among beekeepers due to their higher productivity and the fact that they are easier to manage as compare to Cerana. Rearing of this imported crossbreed honeybees started between 1993-1995 in Nepal. The Chepang community, who had been rearing Cerana in traditional beehives and selling 2-4 kg of honey annually, are now selling 50 to 1,700 kgs of honey.