Economically Important Products of Beekeeping Industry and Farmers` Awareness about Beehive Products in Shimla Hills of Himachal Pradesh, India

Hem Raj *

Government Degree College Arki, District Solan, Himachal Pradesh-173208, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Insect pollinators are responsible for pollination of most the fruit crops and they are performing it well. Pollinator mediated cross-pollination is needed for better production of fruit crops. Many insects such as honey bees, bumble bees, wasps, hover flies, butterflies and beetles are important pollinators but honey bees are the most significant and efficient pollinators of fruit crops. Honey bees are economically very important because they not only help in pollination but provide other valuable products like honey, beeswax, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom and pollen.

A survey was conducted to know the farmers` awareness about beehive products in Shimla hills of Himachal Pradesh. It was found that the farmers had knowledge about different insect pollinators visiting various fruit crops. They were practicing beekeeping not only for managed crop pollination but for producing honey also. Only 67% of them were getting extra income by extracting honey from bee colonies. There was very little awareness among the farmers about other beehive products like beeswax, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom and pollens as well as regarding their use as industries, food, medicine, cosmetics and apitherapy. The climate and the conditions of Himachal Pradesh are not favourable for beekeeping. The lack of experts, financial support, labour, transport, honey market, knowledge of diseases and occurrence of winter snow fall at higher altitudes were demoralizing the farmers to make beekeeping as whole time profession. The renovation in all aspects of apiculture and application of improved beekeeping technologies will not only benefit beekeepers but also farmers and general public in pollinating their crops, gaining extra income and maintaining biodiversity.

Keywords: Honey bees, pollination, honey, farmers’ awareness, beehive products, Himachal Pradesh


How to Cite

Raj, H. (2024). Economically Important Products of Beekeeping Industry and Farmers` Awareness about Beehive Products in Shimla Hills of Himachal Pradesh, India. UTTAR PRADESH JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 45(2), 42–54. https://doi.org/10.56557/upjoz/2024/v45i23864

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