Trainers’ Training on Beekeeping for Extension Officers in Bhutan

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At the request of Honorable Minister of Agriculture, Royal Government of Bhutan, ICIMOD provided a 10-day trainers’ training on beekeeping to Bhutanese extension officers from 5-14 December 2014 at ICIMOD Knowledge Park in Godavari. The training was geared towards improving rural livelihoods through better management of Bhutan’s indigenous honeybee Apis cerana. The overall objective was to support the national beekeeping development programme by building the capacity of its district and regional support centres, and to build resources for the National Centre for Small Ruminants and Apiculture (soon to be established) by training key extension officers as trainers in improved bee management methods, organizing exposure visits to bee farms and beekeeping enterprises, and providing beekeeping equipment.

A total of 20 participants (19 men and one woman) received the training. Among them, 16 were nominated by the Department of Livestock, 3 by the HRH, and one by the Prime Minister’s Office. They gained knowledge and skills in bee management, queen rearing, management and control of bee diseases, pests and predators, and bee flora and pollination management. A variety of training methods were used, including group discussions, lectures, and video screening. Invited specialists from ICIMOD, government and private sector conducted specific sessions on beekeeping equipment, processing and marketing of honey and other bee products, value chains, bee flora and pollination, and community mobilsation and institutional development .

Participants also had the opportunity to visit relevant institutions and enterprises in Kathmandu, such as the Beekeeping Development Section, Beekeeping Workshop, and the Beekeeping Shop. During these visits, participants learned about the Nepal government’s policy and programme on beekeeping development and the functions of honey value chain, including bee equipment and other inputs, colony management, and harvesting, processing, quality management, value addition, branding and marketing of honey and other bee products. Participants appreciated the content, curriculum and structure of the training and thanked ICIMOD for organizing it.

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