Pilot Village Bee Farmers from Bhutan and Nepal Learn about Honeybee Management

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The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) conducted a hands-on beekeeping training for Apis cerana bee entrepreneurs from Bhutan and Nepal in Kaski, Palpa and Rupandehi districts from 17-20 May 2016. The objective of the visit was to provide opportunities to observe commercial beekeeping of the indigenous honeybee, beehive making enterprises, interact with bee farmers and bee entrepreneurs, and to learn from their experiences.  

Twenty-two bee farmers including seven women – selected from different pilot villages of Himalica and HICAP participated in the exposure visit. Participants visited commercial Apis cerana apiaries in Kaski, Palpa and Rupandehi districts, interacted with bee farmers, and learned bee management. 

In Kaski, the group visited Begnas Bee Hive Industry and Apiary of Surya Prasad Lamichhane in Begnas, and Garden City Bee Farming (Apiary and Hive Making Workshop) of Tek Man Gurung in Argho village of Lekhnath municipality. They also visited the Apiaries of Gobinda Chapagain and Himalayan Bee Farm owned by a women Shanta Giri in Bharat Pokhari VDC. In Palpa, the farmers visited Manhi Mauri Bikas Sahkari Sanstha, where they were welcomed by the members of the executive committee of the cooperative. The group also interacted with the members of the executive committee of Manhi Mauri Bikas Sahkari Sanstha and learned about the activities, rules and laws of the cooperative.  

In addition to the Apis cerana beekeepers, the group also visited Apis mellifera based bee enterprise Lumbini Bee Farm owned by a retired army officer Dirgha B Karki in Rupandehi district.  Mr Karki is a 77 year old bee farmer passionate about his bees and beekeeping.

The participants had a chance to interact with the bee entrepreneurs, learn from their experiences, and to learn about the potential of Apis cerana beekeeping as a profitable business enterprise. The participants were impressed with the flourishing Apis cerana beekeeping in Kaski and Palpa districts, Nepal where both men and women were equally involved in managing bees using modern equipment and methods of beekeeping. The farmers visited had more than one hundred bee colonies each. Their enterprises focus on developing and selling bee colonies. Although Apis cerana honey sells at a very high price compared to Apis mellifera, selling bee colonies brings an even higher income.