Honey bees contribute to about 70% of the food that we intake. It is not just the honey that these tiny creatures produce for the human kind, but also aid significantly in the production of vegetables and fruits by pollinating them. The bees are also responsible for pollination of food eaten by animals. Hence, Albert Einstein had rightly said once that, “If honey bees disappear off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left.” Because, no Bees would mean no plants, no animals and no man.
Honey bees are an integral part of our eco system. They are not just important, but vital in survival of many types of crop plants as well as wild plants. However, over time, their numbers have been declining from the world because of pesticides, intensive farming, loss of habitat, climate change and global warming. A recent study has highlighted the fact that lack of honeybees has caused reduction in agriculture production.
Pollination is the first step in the formation of any fruit or seed in any plant. Honey bees act as pollinators by taking the pollen grain from anther (male part of flower) to stigma (female part of flower) of the same or a different plant. Onions, mustard, cabbage, lemon, coconut, cherries, berries, kiwi, okra, cashews, almonds, sunflowers, coffee, rubber, tamarind, flax, cotton, etc. are some of the crops pollinated by honeybees. Other than this, honey bees are also responsible for production of honey, bee wax, propolis, pollen, royal jelly, bee venom, etc.
Apiculture or Beekeeping is recommended by many environmental experts to increase honeybee colonies to restore the balance in ecosystem. Promoting the practice while laying foundation stone of Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called upon every state of the country to select at least one district to take up apiculture which is an essential component in integrated farming and will also increase honey production to meet greater demands in the international market.
Bee Basket Enterprise Pvt. Ltd is a Pune based company that works with honey bees. The founder of the company, Amit Godse, realised while on a holiday that survival of honey bees around human civilisation was difficult because of lack of awareness. He trained himself in apiculture, through research and working with tribal farmers. He claims that bee hives are completely harmless. He also recommends people to take up honeybees as pets, since they require least maintenance. However, if someone is uncomfortable with having bee hives around them, there is a way to move the hive without having to kill the bees, which he can help people out with.
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The CSR Journal Team