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A Paper on Appropriate Technology for Apiculture and its Economic Potentials

Organized by: Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) on Pro-Poor Economic Activities Presented by: JAGADISH CHANDRA SAHA Project Director Bee-Keeping Program


History of Beekeeping in Bangladesh: •Practiced haphazardly since time immemorial. •In 1940 keeping or rearing bees in wooden hives probably started during the self reliant movement of Mahatma Gandhi •In 1950’s experimental Beekeeping was done in the Tea growing areas of Sylthet district. •In 1960’s BSCIC has started Bee-keeping at Jatrapur in Bagerhat district. •During this whole period the result was not-satisfactory due to inappropriate technology •In 1977 BSCIC again started Beekeeping in modern and scientific way. •Now many other Govt. and Non Govt. organization have undertaken Beekeeping program having successful efforts.

BEEKEEPING: Beekeeping is the art of caring for, management, nursing and manipulating colonies of honeybees (Apis spp.) so that they will collect and store a quantity of honey above their own instant and/or present requirements.

APICULTURE: Apiculture is a scientific subject in the field of economic and/or applied Entomology which comprises to keep bees, rearing bees, management of bees, honey production, research on bees and bee-products having a good contact with Agriculture and Horticulture.

BEES : Bees- a large group of animal kingdom dedicated for the welfare of mankind in multifarious way in the order Hymenoptera comprising the family Apidae under the class Insecta which are economically important in the insect world and scientifically recognized for their behavioral efforts to study, honey production, pollination, production of other bee-products.

HONEY BEES: Honey bees are the most significant group of insects under Apidae family in the field of applied Entomology. Rendering enormous dedication for the production of fruits, seeds, crops, vegetables and fibers in addition to honey and many other by products.

OBJECTIVES OF BEE KEEPING : • Production of honey throughout the country. • Increase the production of crops, fruits, seeds and vegetables by honey bee pollination. • Increase the nutrition value of human food. • Develop bee-products by way of beekeeping. • Develop plant environment through plantation for keeping bees. • Employment generation.

SPECIALITY : ⇒No specific land is required. ⇒No monetary value for required raw materials. ⇒Minimum investment in comparison to output and/or other activities. ⇒Applicable profession for everybody ⇒Good venture for part time and/or full time activities. ⇒Potentiality is almost every where in the country. ⇒By-products are not less valuable and important than the main products- honey as we know. ⇒Important role for the enhanced production seeds, crops, fruits, vegetable and fibres. ⇒Creation of employment opportunities. ⇒Increase the Agro based cottage industry.

Species of honey bees: Apis dorsata •Origin- Asia. •Large size and ferocious. •Honey production is 10-40 kilograms/year/colony. •Cannot be rearing in boxes. •Naturally found. •Single comb in a colony.

Apis cerana

•Origin- Asia. •Medium size and comparatively quiet in nature. •Honey production 2-10 kilograms/ year/colony. •Rearing is possible in the specified bee boxes or in other means of traditional devices. •Naturally found. •Absconding from the box is happened. •Many combs in a colony.

Apis florea • Ancient home- Asia. • Small size and quiet in nature. • Honey production is very poor- about 250 grams/year/colony. • Cannot be rearing in boxes. • Naturally found. • Single conb in a colony.

Apis mellifera • OriginEurope and Australia. • Newly introduced in Bangladesh. • Large size but quiet in nature. • Highest honey producerabout 40-90 kilograms/ year/colony. • Rearing is possible in specified bee boxes. • Naturally not found in Bangladesh till today. • No absconding is happened. • Many combs in a colony.

Apis laboriosa

• • • • • • •

Origin Asia Found in high altitude. Not identified in Bangladesh. Can not be rearing in boxes. Naturally found mainly in the rock. large in size and ferocious in nature. Honey production 20-50 kilograms/ year/colony. • Single comb in a colony.

Bee products in the world: Honey Wax Royal jelly Pollen

: : : :

Food, medicine and nutrition value Medicine and industrial value Health food and medicinal value Health food Bee food and medicinal value Propolis : Medicinal value Bee-venoms : Medicinal value Increased crop: By bee pollination Yield Apilarnil : Under research

• Honey flow season (6 months): October : Major source- Jujube. December-January : Major source-Mustard. Mid February-Mid March: Major source-Litchi & Niger. Mid April- Mid June : Major source-Sunderban & Sesame.

Semi-honey flow season(3 months): 15-30 September Jujube. 15-30 November 1-15 February

: Growth period during

: Mustard –early crop. : Late mustard, Nger spp. & others. 1- 15 April : Sunderban & Sesame. Mid June-Mid July : Miscellaneous.

Dearth period(3 months):

1-15 November. 15 July-15 September. 15-31 March.

Bee-plants: - Large number of bee-plants species are available in the country. - About 200 species are identified. - At least 11 are major. - About 60 are semi-major. - The rests are minor.

Major bee-plants : • • • • • • • • • • •

Brassica spp. L. Litchi chinensis Camb. Zizyphus jujuba Lamk. Moringa oleifera Lam. Cocos nucifera L. Helianthus annus L. Eugenia jambolana Lamk. Coriandrum sativum L. Citrus spp. L. Sesamum indicum Dc. Niger spp.

Scenario of professional mobile Beekeeping:

Mustard field

Litchi garden

Scenario of professional mobile Beekeeping:

Bee-keeping in Onion field Flowering field of Radish for Honey & Seed Production

Scenario of Natural Honey Bee Colony

A. dorsata

A. dorsata in Sundarban

Scenario of professional mobile Beekeeping:

Litchi Garden

Honey Bees visiting citrus flowers

Results: - More honey will be produced - Number of colonies will be increased - Colonies will be strong. - Production of crops and fruits will be enhanced due to cross pollination by honey bees.

Year wise Investment and Production forecast for a mini apiary • Species–Apis cerana • Number of colonies – 10 • Honey Production in each productive colony–10 kg Period

1st year 2nd year 3rd year

Production Capacity


60% 70 % 90 %

12,850 2,300 2,700

Production Honey (kg)

60 70 90

Wax (kg)

1.5 1.75 2.25


6 7 9

Total Income

Return on Investment

13,950 109 % 16,275 708 % 20,925 775 %

Year wise Investment and Production forecast for a mini apiary • Species–Apis mellifera • Number of colonies – 5 • Honey Production in each productive colony–50 kg Period

1st year 2nd year 3rd year

Production Capacity


50% 55 % 65 %

13,250 4,000 4,800

Production Honey (kg)

125 137 162

Wax (kg)

0.5 1.0 1.0


Total Income

5 8 12

30,050 35,500 44,500

Return on Investment

226 % 887 % 917%

Apiculture – a potential perspective in Bangladesh On the basis of present condition an approximate data on the following activities can predict the present status and potentiality of Beekeeping in Bangladesh. Activities

Honey Production




1600 MT 25,000 MT Including Sundarban Honey and honey hunter honey throughout the country.

No. of wild colonies



No. of domesticated colonies



No. of Beekeeper



No. of Honey hunter


Employment generation Enhanced crop yield per year

* 70,000 Tk. 1,200 Millions


4,30,000 Tk. 80,000 Millions

Existing bee hunters may be converted to beekeeper Existing employment generation includes the bee hunters


• Improper, unplanned and unscientific use of insecticides and pesticides. • Pest and Diseases. • Non-availability of machinery, equipment, medicine and artificial feeding in respect of appropriate and modern technology. • Lack of related information center and laboratory for preliminary examination or field test for wild bees and beekeeping. • Lack of knowledge about the wild bees- it’s importance to pollination, food, honey production and environment as well. • No institutional research and demonstration center. • Insufficient communication and coordination with the concerned world authority and/or institution for the development of wild bees and bee-keeping in this region. • Attention for restoration and development of bee-plants community are not adequate.

Recommendations: • Awareness should be created and appropriate steps should be taken for proper, planned and scientific use of insecticides and pesticides. • Integrated steps to be taken for the conservation of wild and domesticated bees. • There should be a central information center having direct communication with the world bee-keeping forum and institutions. • Research, Survey and demonstration activities for the promotion and development of indigenous honeybee resource are to be undertaken in the potential areas of the country. • To combat some identified and unknown diseases attention is to be drawn and steps to be taken by the concerned and/or related authority. • All authorities should pay their highest attention for restoration and expansion of bee plants community in the country. • Seminar/workshop/symposium on Wild bees and bee-keeping are to be organized by the concerned authority in the country.

Bee helps plants Plants help Bees and man reaps the harvest of both

Bee helps plants, plants help bees and we can reaps many things for the survival of mankind and better environment.

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