Care to be taken in Apiculture
Guru GyaanAgroStar Agronomy Centre of Excellence
Care to be taken in Apiculture
Farmers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana and other few states have been doing beekeeping business with farming. Out of the different species of honey bees, it is convenient to grow Indian and Italian honey bees. By commercial farming of Indian bee, 15 to 30 kg of honey from one box per year. Italian honey bee is bigger and polite in nature than Indian honey bee. Commercial farming of Italian honey bee gives average 30 kg and maximum 70 kg honey from one box per year. Most of the time, Italian honeybee is used in commercial apiculture. Apiculture provides honey as well as it facilitates pollination in crops which increases the production and also quality of the crop. Farmers can adopt this business to earn alternate income. Care to be taken in Apiculture:  Organize the crops to get pollen and honey throughout the year continuously and keep planting such crops continuously.  Avoid spraying of medicines on such crops where honeybees visit more.  Boxes made out of good quality of wood should be used for Honeybees. Clean the box with formaldehyde solution before using it. Boxes should be arranged on cool, clean wooden stand. A bowl of full of water should be kept under the stand so that insects, ants do not enter in the boxes. Every morning the boxes should be cleaned properly.  Do not change the place of box frequently. If required, only change the place in the night.  If in some boxes, honeybees are found dead, then find out the reason and take proper steps.  Queen honeybee stays at the lower floor of the box, so keep a net in between, to prevent it from going to the upper floor.  Make an arrangement for clean water around the boxes.  When enough crop is not available in the farm, keep sugar syrup as a food for honeybee.  Plant wind resistant crops around the apiary to protect the bees from direct cool wind.
 Cut one wing of Queen Honeybee to prevent it from going along with the worker honeybees.  Make an arrangement to prevent direct rainfall on honey box.  If atmosphere is more cool, then cover it with gunny bag during night and take it out in the morning.  In summer, keep it under the tree shade to prevent it from direct heat. If possible, irrigate the soil to provide coolness.  Separate the diseased honey box from other boxes and take proper steps to control the disease.  Mites spend their life as an external parasite on the honeybees. So, to control them, spray sulphur powder.  There are many enemies of honeybee like ants, carpenter ants, chameleon, lizard, Indian sparrowhawk, black drongo, some wasps, sphinx moth, wax moth etc. Take necessary steps to control them.  Diseases like foul brood, nosema, septicemia etc., in honeybees can be prevented by taking proper care and necessary steps. Note: Pure honey has property of solidifying which if kept in hot water or under sunlight, turns into its original form. Dr. T. M. Bharpoda, Ex. Professor of Entomology, B. A. College of Agriculture, Anand Agricultural University, Anand- 388 110 (Gujarat India)
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