Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University
Pusa, Samastipur – 848 125, Bihar, India



Beekeeping Scenario of Bihar

The tradition of beekeeping in Bihar is very old and it was in practice with Apis cerana, which were kept in earthen pots. The beekeeping was flourishing well in Bihar, however, there was a setback to beekeeping industry in the 1980s due to disease caused by TSBV (Thaisac brood virus). In 1987-88 Apis mellifera bees were introduced in Bihar with 15 colonies by the All India Coordinated Research Project on Honey bee, DRPCAU, Bihar, Pusa centre. The bees adopted themselves quiet well in different agro climatic conditions prevailing in the state.

The litchi honey produced in Bihar has better taste, colour and flavour than the honey produced in other states due to variation in ecological conditions. Litchi honey is very popular and has high demand nationally and internationally. This region has three to four honey flow season (Litchi, Mustard, Mix honey of Mung, Till, Jamun and Drumstick) compared to one or two in other states. There is a vast area of litchi orchards in the state and more than four varieties of litchi are found extending the flowering period for about a 20-25 days to a month.

Bihar is located in the eastern part of the country and has and has the advantage of rich flora and ecological conditions for beekeeping and has high potential for beekeeping and production of beehive products. The weather conditions prevailing in the state are more conducive for beekeeping as the favourable temperature (25-35oC) prevail throughout the year except during the months of May ‚Äď June and December-January, for few weeks. The adverse weather conditions are easily overcome by proper management of colonies. Though,¬†Apis mellifera¬†unlike¬†Apis cerana¬†is free from any dreaded diseases the colonies suffer from the attack of wax moths, wasps, mites and ants but beekeepers adopt successfully preventive control measures to check the loss of colonies from natural enemies.

Training on beekeeping is imparted regularly by the centre. This enterprise has attracted the majority of the population who are landless, low or marginal farmers and unemployed youths in the state. Low input and quick and high returns are the added advantage of beekeeping.

Consistent and continuous effects of this centre coupled with innovative nature of the beekeepers for adoption of modern technology, mellifera beekeeping was popularized in short span of time. Beekeeping research, training and honey festivals boosted the adoption of beekeeping.

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