Back to news
25 May 2016 | Himalica

Farmers Learn Beekeeping in Pilot Villages in Bhutan and Nepal

1 min Read

70% Complete

More than one-third of households have two to ten colonies of bees in traditional fixed-comb log-comb, wall-comb, or pitcher hives in the Himalica pilot villages of Barshong geog of Bhutan, Rauta VDC of Udayapur in Nepal, and HICAP pilot villages in Kavre district of Nepal. Farmers catch bee swarms from the wild during the bees’ spring reproduction season.  There are plenty of bee forage resources near the villages for bees to survive and produce honey — citrus, guava, papaya, pear, peach, maize, buckwheat, mustard, cucurbits, Budleia asiatica, Jujube, Engelhardtia spicata (bandre), wild Osmanthus (Eurya accuminata), and Melastoma spp, etc. Farmers harvest honey three or more times per year with an 8-10 kg average per year of honey production per colony. Honey is harvested traditionally by squeezing the combs.

The potential to develop beekeeping and bee-based enterprises as a source of income diversification for farmers and youth in these villages is great. Linking beekeeping with citrus, cardamom, and vegetable farming is another business opportunity as these crops are planted by village farmers and offer pollen and nectar for honeybees and bees, who in turn, pollinate crops enhancing their production and quality. To date, there have been no efforts in beekeeping development in these villages. No farmers are keeping bees in modern movable frame hives in Barshong and Kavre, however, a few farmers in Rauta VDC in Udayapur tried modern hives but failed due to the lack of training. 

To harness this potential, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) conducted a week long ‘Farmers Training in Beekeeping: Improving Rural Livelihoods through Better Management of the Indigenous Honeybee Apis cerana in Bhutan and Nepal’ 10-16 May 2016 at ICIMOD Knowledge Park in Godavari. 

The objective was to support development of community-based beekeeping enterprises as a livelihood diversification option for rural communities in pilot sites in Nepal and Bhutan. Training included strengthening farmers’ bee management skills and knowledge using improved beehives and beekeeping equipment, and the harvesting, processing and value addition of honey and beeswax.

Stay current

Stay up to date on what’s happening around the HKH with our most recent publications and find out how you can help by subscribing to our mailing list.

Sign Up

Related content

Continue exploring this topic

30 Jan 2017 Gender in Koshi
The road ahead for Nepal’s water management

In the Lohajar VDC of Saptari district, in Nepal’s floodplains, Gopal Khatiwada plays a key role in developing and implementing ...

27 Feb 2016 News
Enhancing the Large Cardamom Production

Large cardamom (Amomum sabulatum Roxb) is the high value cash crop and main source of cash income for farmers in ...

2 Feb 2017 Himalica
Himalica Pilot Partners Meet to Review 2016 Progress and Plan for 2017

  At the regional review and planning workshop held in Kathmandu, Nepal, this January, Himalica pilot implementing partners from Bangladesh, Bhutan, ...

27 Mar 2015 Atmosphere Initiative
Reducing black carbon in the region will have multiple benefits and save lives

The Himalaya region is among the most vulnerable parts of the world to climate change. Retreating glaciers reduce dry-season water ...

29 Sep 2015 News
Thana Glacier Mass Balance measurement and monitoring in Chamkhar Chu Basin, Bhutan

  The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), with the support of Government of Norway in collaboration with the 

12 Oct 2015 News
Community led Micro planning training in the HKH

  A three-day regional Training of Trainers (ToT) on Community-led Micro-planning organised by the Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in ...

3 Jul 2017 Himalica
Roadmap for Tourism Development of Bandarban Hill District Launched

Menon called on the private sector to join forces with the government to develop the country's tourism infrastructure around its ...