‘Valley has only 10,000 honey bee colonies, 30,000 perish'
Srinagar, March 31: By using honey bees in crop pollination the yield potential can be increased manifold as bees have the main role in pollination of agricultural and horticultural crops, said Professor Anwar Alam, Vice Chancellor Sheri Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST).
Speaking at the valedictory function of a training programme on management of honey bee diseases, the VC said the honey bees are very important pollinators and can improve the potential of the crop production in the valley tremendously.
“This is not an ordinary role played by them. Role of honey bees in increasing agricultural production has been recognized throughout the world,” he said.
He stressed the need of introducing honey bee colonies in agricultural and horticultural fields to improve the crop yield. “If we introduce them in our apple orchards our production can be enhanced by 33 per cent to 40 per cent.”
“It is not only about apple but can be used for all crops involving cross pollination,” he added.
The programme was organized by the Division of Entomology SKUAST in collaboration with State Agriculture Management Extension Training Institute.
He said that out of 40,000 honey bee colonies registered with Agricultural Department in Kashmir only 10,000 exist today and the rest have perished. “Both protective and curative measures are required to protect the honey bees from diseases,” he said.
According to the vice chancellor the packaging and processing of the honey bee products also needs a great attention. “The states like Punjab are packing honey and selling it under the brand name of Kashmir. This way they are earning tremendous profits which is a set back to our industry,” he added.
Addressing the gathering Sheikh Bilal Ahmad the course Director said that the training programme was aimed at addressing the issues of paramount importance in bee keeping. “It was important because the apiculture industry in the state has faced two setbacks in the past in the year 1980 because of the varroa mite attack and in the year 1986 because of the Thai sac brood diseases which had eliminated 90% bee colonies in the valley. Because of these diseases the number of bee colonies in the valley was reduced from 40,000 to 1,000 which in the later years have again increased to 10, 000,” he said.
Professor K.D.Farooqi a scientist at the university said that the major reason for which the fruit industry of the valley is not able to match the advanced countries like America is the lack of pollination. “Unless there is bee activity in our fields we cannot improve our crop production even if we use the best varieties,” he said.
“We need honey bees as pollinators to improve the production. If only 3 to 4 bee colonies are introduced per hector of land our production will definitely increased by 33 to 40% which is not an ordinary increase,” he added.
Among present on the occasion were the Heads of various Divisions of SKUAST and the officers of the Agriculture and Horticulture Department.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 31 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 31 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 1 Apr 2010 00:00:00 IST
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