Prolonged highway closure results in mass mortality of honeybees

Apiculture farmers of tehsil Banihal Saturday said that they suffered mass mortality of honeybees during traffic jam and road blockade between Battery Chashma and Digdol sector along Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.

The apiculturists said honeybees died en route during their seasonal transit in trucks. “The bees in ‘beehive box shelves’ remained stuck in traffic jam resulting in their mass death,” said one of the farmers.

The farmers said they were transporting the beehive shelves in trucks from plains of Jammu province to seasonally moderate areas of Banihal.

They said as they reached Udhampur on Thursday morning a landslide had blocked the highway at Digdol. “The highway remained closed for several hours and when it was cleared, their trucks transporting the bee colonies got stuck in traffic jam between Nashri Ramban, Ramban Ramsu  for hours resulting into death of bees due to scorching heat and starvation.

They blamed many bee keepers were thrashed by the traffic police cops at different Nakas on highway, while they were pleading them to allow their movement further.

“We suffered heavy losses. It is our only source of income, we earn our livelihood by this trade,” said another bee keeper.

He said the beekeeping does not get insured here and department of apiculture is showing their inability to provide any sought of help for coping from the problem.

These farmers appealed the Apiculture Department and the divisional administration Jammu for taking up the issue with the state government so that suffered bee keepers are rehabilitated.