Beekeeping is an agro-based activity which is being undertaken by farmers/ landless labourers in rural area as a part of Integrated Farming System (IFS).
Beekeeping has been useful in pollination of crops, thereby, increasing income of the farmers/beekeepers by way of increasing crop yield and providing honey and other high value beehive products, viz.; bees wax, bee pollen, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom, etc. Diversified agro climatic conditions of India provide great potential and opportunities for beekeeping/ honey production and export of Honey.
Keeping in view the importance of beekeeping as part of the Integrated Farming System in the country, government approved the allocation for Rs. 500 crore for National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM) for three years (2020-21 to 2022-23).
The mission was announced as part of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat scheme. NBHM aims for the overall promotion & development of scientific beekeeping in the country to achieve the goal of ‘Sweet Revolution’ which is being implemented through National Bee Board (NBB).
The main objective of NBHM is to promote holistic growth of beekeeping industry for income & employment generation for farm and non-farm households, to enhance agriculture/ horticulture production, developing infrastructural facilities, including setting up of Integrated Beekeeping Development Centre (IBDC)s/CoE, honey testing labs, bee disease diagnostic labs, custom hiring centres, Api-therapy centres, nucleus stock, bee breeders, etc. and empowerment of women through beekeeping.
Besides, the scheme also aims to create awareness about scientific bee keeping under Mini Mission-I, post-harvest management of beekeeping, beehive products, including collection, processing, storage, marketing, value addition, etc. under Mini Mission-II and Research & Technology generation in beekeeping under Mini Mission-III. Rs 150.00 Crores has been allotted to NBHM for 2020-21.
11 projects of Rs. 2560 lakhs have been sanctioned under NBHM for Awareness & Capacity building in scientific beekeeping, empowerment of Women through beekeeping, technology demonstrations on impact of Honeybees on yield enhancement & quality improvements of agriculture/horticulture produce. It also aims to make farmers aware about the distribution of specialized Beekeeping equipments for production of high value products, viz. Royal Jelly, Bee Venom, Comb Honey, etc, and also about the studies on exploring potential of High Altitude Honey, production of special honey in Kannauj & Hathrus Distts. of UP and use of mustard honey to cure colon cancer during the year 2020-21.
- Two World Class State of the Art Honey Testing Labs, one at NDDB, Anand, Gujarat & one IIHR, Bengaluru, Karnataka, have been approved/ set up. Lab at Anand has been accredited by NABL and has been inaugurated by Union Minister of Agriculture & Famers Welfare, Govt. of India on 24th July, 2020. Now Lab has started testing of Honey samples for all the parameters notified by FSSAI;
- 10,000 Beekeepers/Beekeeping & Honey Societies/Firms/Companies with 16.00lakhs honeybee colonies have been registered with NBB.
- Proposal for developing Traceability Source of Honey and other Beehive Products approved and work initiated/ started. This will help in controlling the adulteration in honey & other beehive products.
- Farmers/ beekeepers have been trained in scientific beekeeping including production of high value beehive products, viz.; Bee Pollen, Propolis, Royal Jelly, Bee Venom, etc.
- 5 FPOs of Beekeeper/honey producers in the States of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan & West Bengal have been formed and launched by Minister of Agri.& FW on 26.11.2020.
- Honey production has increased from 76,150 MTs (2013-14) to 1,20,000 MTs (2019-20) which is 57.58 % increase.
- Export of honey has increased from 28,378.42 MTs (2013-14) to 59536.74MTs (2019-20) which is 109.80 % increase.
- 16 Integrated Beekeeping Development Centres (IBDCs) as role model of beekeeping have been commissioned, one each in the States of Haryana, Delhi, Bihar, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh.
- Awareness created about role of honeybees/beekeeping in pollination support of various crops and adoption of scientific beekeeping.