Honey, they took the sting out of the bee (rearing) business!
Pantnagar University plans to introduce tropical stingless bee in North India, develops special beehive box toodehradun Updated: Nov 22, 2017 19:45 IST
The scientists at Pantnagar University have just taken out the “sting” from honeybee rearing business!
They have devised a special beehive box that can be used to rear honey from tropical bees. The tropical bees are at least a quarter of the size of those found in most parts of the country and don’t have the sting in their tail.
They do not produce as much honey as their larger counterpart but the quality of their produce is much better, say experts.
According to Poonam Shrivastva, assistant director of honeybee-keeping research and training centre of the Pant University, the stingless species of bee normally makes its home in hollow of trees or in the walls of houses.
“It had been reared in hollows of bamboos in the South India for a long time because of favorable climatic condition. Though, its honey producing capacity is lesser than that of the Italian and Indian bee, but the honey produced by the tropical bee fetches more price due to its superior quality,” Shrivastava said.
Senior entomologist of university, MS Khan said that the Italian and Indian bee varieties are reared at 46° Celsius. They are the varieties that apiary owners prefer. The stingless bee, however, is one-fourth the size of the Indian been and it could be reared in temperature ranging from 15° Celsius to 40°Celsius.
Keeping in mind the bone chilling winter that North India experiences, the experts at the Pant University have developed a technology that would help maintain suitable temperature in the beehive boxes round the year.
“We have developed special insulated boxes so that temperature could be maintained between 30°C-35°C. Both the technique and the stingless bee would be made available to the farmers by the end of next year,” Khan added.
Apart from this, stingless bees are better at pollination of flowers, fruit and vegetables. The university has been working on the project since 2008.
First Published: Nov 22, 2017 19:45 IST