Apiculture training at Ambalavayal Krishi Vigyan Kendra set to create a buzz

Participants to be given honey bee colonies and boxes free of cost

The Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has launched an initiative to promote apiculture by providing colonies of honeybees and boxes free of cost to those who have completed the training conducted by the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Ambalavayal.

Free training programmes are conducted by many government agencies across the country, but they usually do not provide the main components such as colonies of bees and boxes free of cost to trainees. “However, we started providing the components by realising the fact that many participants could not enter into the venture even after completing the training programme owing to a dearth of major components in their locality,” Allan Thomas, head of KVK, told The Hindu. At a time when the cultivation of exotic fruits such as litchi, rambutan, mangosteen, avocado, and passion fruit was gaining momentum in Wayanad, apiculture had a significant role to play as bees enhanced the productivity of plants since they were excellent pollinators, he added.

If farmers began the venture with basic components, they could multiply the colonies of honey bees in a short while, said Mr. Thomas. From a single unit itself, a farmer could collect eight to 10 kg of honey a year and pure honey had a fair demand in the market, said master trainer K. Viswan.

KAU faculty members are handling the scientific sessions while practical training is being given at the demonstration unit of KVK. Field visits and other aspects such as setting up of boxes and placing of colonies, rearing and management of honey bees, and value addition of honey are also covered under the seven-day training programme.

“Training followed by providing necessary components to farmers will make interventions of institutions like agricultural universities meaningful and the KVKs should take up such activities for the betterment of the farming community,” said KAU Vice Chancellor R. Chandra Babu.

The programme is being conducted with financial assistance of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and as many as 100 persons have been trained so far.

KAU Director of Extension Jayasree Krishnankutty inaugurated the distribution of boxes and colonies.

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