Buzzing Success: Pulwama siblings sweeten their fortunes with beekeeping

Buzzing Success: Pulwama siblings sweeten their fortunes with beekeeping
GK Photo

Pulwama, Sep 19: A continuous buzzing and hissing from myriads of bees is what one could hear after entering the vast apple farm of Sher Ali and his brother Abid Hussain.

Located in quaint Gangoo village, 2 kms from south Kahsmir's Pulwama town, the well-manicured farm is dotted with hundreds of beehives, placed between the apple trees with their boughs drooping under the weight of numerous ruby red apples.

Pointing towards the apple-laden branches, Sher Ali says it is an additional benefit of beekeeping.

"They are natural pollinators," he said.

Sher Ali and his brother engaged in honey bee farming over the last many years, earning a decent livelihood.

"We learnt bee rearing from our grandfather," he said.

The siblings presently own at least 200 to 250 beehives and adopt all modern and scientific techniques for bee farming.

"To make sure all the bees are healthy, we, almost, on a daily basis examine the bee combs", said Hussain.

He said that to keep the termites, which attack the hives, at bay, they use different chemicals.

"The adoption of scientific methods plays a significant role in enhancing honey production," said Hussain.

According to the siblings, they extract 200 to 300 kgs of honey in a year and their annual turnover ranges between Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh. They also provide employment to 2 to 3 persons.

"Unlike apple farming, the input costs in bee-keeping are considerably low," they said.

Hussain said that there "is much profitability in the apiculture business".

The siblings set up apiaries in Jammu and Rajasthan during the winters.

"The bees could not withstand the harsh winters so we moved outside the Valley with our hives", said Hussain.

He said that there was much scope for bee farming in Kashmir and the government also had many schemes available for the beekeepers.

Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most significant beekeeping regions in the country as the area has an availability of raw materials and a huge demand for honey.

The siblings said that Kashmir produced first-rate honey and there was never any dearth of consumers.

"We have minted our brand and the customers make a beeline for our home, particularly during winters to buy the product,” said the siblings.

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