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Beekeeping Bootcamp Empowers Aspiring Bee-Preneurs with Buzzworthy Skills

PAU's beekeeping training program highlights the potential for rural livelihood diversification and economic empowerment through beekeeping.

Shivam Dwivedi
Beekeeping Bootcamp Empowers Aspiring Bee-Preneurs with Buzzworthy Skills (Photo Source: PAU)
Beekeeping Bootcamp Empowers Aspiring Bee-Preneurs with Buzzworthy Skills (Photo Source: PAU)

Beekeeping can make farmers’ livelihood more resilient, Dr Makhan Singh Bhullar, Director of Extension Education told the participants during a six-day training program on beekeeping organized by PAU-FASC Ferozepur under the umbrella of the Directorate of Extension Education and Department of Entomology, PAU, Ludhiana.

Interacting with the participants, Dr MS Bhullar said that beekeeping is a wonderful way for farming communities to diversify their livelihoods and earn a substantial income. “Targeted beekeeping extension could contribute to empowering rural youth with beekeeping skills and maximizing rewards in terms of hive products, crop pollination and employment generation in rural setups”, Dr Bhullar added.

Dr KB Singh, Director, PAMETI said that within beehives, lies a world ripe with opportunities for aspiring beekeepers. Expressing his pleasure in the active participation of both young women and men in the training, Dr Singh emphasized that beekeeping has great potential to empower rural youth due to its minimal resource requirements such as low initial investment, recurring expenses, labor, etc., and high economic rewards.

During the training, the participants also got an opportunity to interact with Dr Pardeep Kumar Chhuneja, Former Dean PGS, PAU and a beekeeping expert of international repute. Dr Chhuneja discussed at length, the information on bee flora, nectar and pollen sources during different seasons in Punjab as well as the neighboring states, migration routes, bee enemies and their management. Besides, he also shared some practical insights important to be a successful entrepreneur in beekeeping.

The training curriculum was divided into 24 technical and hands-on-practice sessions. Additionally, two exposure visits were also organized for 21 young participants. The first exposure visit of trainees was organized to an apiary of a progressive beekeeper, S. Malkiat Singh of Zira; and another to PAU Apiary, Department of Business Studies, PAMETI and the Directorate of Extension Education at PAU Ludhiana. During the visit to PAU, Dr Jaspal Singh, Principal Entomologist & Incharge, Beekeeping Unit, Dr Amit Kumar (Entomologist), Dr Bharti Mahendru (Entomologist), Department of Entomology shared valuable information on a variety of themes covering beekeeping equipment, specifications, swarming, robbing, absconding, hive products, honey processing, bottling, etc.

Dr Ramandeep Singh, Director of School of Business Studies at PAU, shared insights on how beekeeping business can increase their returns through effective branding and marketing strategies. Meanwhile, Harmeet Kaur, Deputy Director at PAMETI, talked about the different skill-based training opportunities available for young farmers.

Dr Jagjot Singh Gill, District Extension Specialist (Agronomy), FASC Ferozepur; Dr Anand Gautam, Assistant Professor (Agri. Engg), and Dr Bhallan Singh Sekhon, Assistant Professor (Vegetable Science), KVK Ferozepur shared their expertise on importance of crop diversity for beekeeping, impact of farm fires on bee colonies and its prevention, and role of bees in vegetable and fruit production. Dr Divya, Assistant Professor (H.Sc.) also interacted with the trainees and shared valuable information with them.

Dr Simranjit Singh, Horticultural Development Officer, Ferozepur apprised the participants about the subsidy scheme available with their department for the new beekeepers. Amit Punj, Agriculture Development Officer (Zira), Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Ferozepur also shared information on protecting bees from pesticidal poisoning.

Dr GS Makkar, Senior Extension Scientist (Entomology) FASC, Ferozepur and the Training Coordinator, while sharing the above details also informed that participants from 17 different villages and 4 blocks of district Ferozepur gained enriching knowledge and skills on bee species, castes, bee morphology, life cycle, colony organization, division of labor, beekeeping equipment, seasonal management, pollination hive products, colony inspection, routine operations, etc. during the training.

PAU literature on beekeeping was also provided to them. Feedback from the participants has been overwhelmingly positive, expressing gratitude for the valuable skills gained through this programme, Dr Makkar added.

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