(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Apiculture: Scope and Opportunities

(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Apiculture: Scope and Opportunities


Apiculture: Scope and Opportunities


India is one of the largest producers and consumers of honey in the world, with an estimated annual production of 1.2 lakh metric tonnes. The country has a rich tradition and culture of beekeeping dating back to ancient times. Beekeeping has the potential to generate income and employment opportunities for rural households.

  • Apiculture is the science and culture of honeybees and their management.
  • Beekeeping is the practice of intentional maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans.
  • A beekeeper may keep bees in order to collect honey and beeswax, or for the purpose of pollinating crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeeper. A location where bees are kept is called an apiary.
  • Beekeeping (or apiculture, from Latin: Apis bee’) is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans.
  • In India, beekeeping has been mainly forest-based. Several natural plant species provide nectar and pollen to honey bees.

Development of Beekeeping Equipment’s: 

  • Bee hives ISI (A type B type and C type),
  • Bee hives stand (folding type and fixed type)
  • Honey extractor Tangential and radial type Comb foundation sheets
  • Comb foundation mill
  • Travelling bee box
  • Wasp trap
  • Lay out of honey house
  • Lay out of honey processing plant
  • Solar wax extractor

The above mentioned equipments have already been standardised by the Bureau of Indian Standards (formerly ISI). The following approved, drafts awaiting standardisation are (1) Cylindrical bee packages (2) Honey extractor tangential (3) Beeman’s kit.

Some of these techniques include:

(1) Management of apiaries year round

(2) Supplementary feeding in dearth period 

(3) Swarm control

(4) Management for higher yields

(5) Apis mellifera management

(6) Migration both local and distant

Prospects of Apiculture

  • Geographical Diversity: Besides the agricultural fields, several nectariferous plant species to the evergreen tropical and sub-tropical forests provide forage to honey bees. This offers a potential of about 200 million bee colonies as against 3.4 million bee colonies today.
  • Genetic Diversity: There are only around seven commercially important honeybee species in the world, but five of them are present in India, i.e. Rock bee, Indian hive bee. Hence, apiculture is resilient to climate change and environmental degradation.
  • Agrarian Economy: Bee pollination as a new agricultural production strategy has immense possibilities in an agrarian country like India. If bees are incorporated into agriculture, the pollination is well managed and crop yields increase significantly.
  • Thrust on Food Processing: The Government is actively promoting food processing industries in the country to enhance rural income i.e. policy measures such as PM SAMPADA. Honey is a high-value product and hence aligns easily with government strategies.
  • Rising Industrial Demand: Honey forms a key ingredient in the ayurveda and pharmaceutical sectors in India. It is also thought to support the treatment of several more specific ailments. Hence, the growth of the AYUSH and pharmaceutical sectors is expected to have a positive impact on honey as an industrial raw material in India.
  • Rising Domestic Market: As a result of changing food habits and an increasing inclination of consumers towards wellness foods and healthy alternatives to artificial sweeteners, the demand for honey is expected to increase in the coming years. The threat of Covid-19 infection has made people consume more because of its anti¬ microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Advantages of Honey

  • List of health benefits of honey and make use of this golden sweetener.
  • Honey cleans blood and arteries
  • Use of honey is also beneficial to the throat infection
  • Use of honey by children is the best technique to increase their memory power at the small age
  • Use of honey avoids a cough, colds, digestive problem, eye disorders, blood pressure, etc
  • Honey is also used in the cosmetic
  • A teaspoon of honey with fresh butter prevents you from fever
  • The use of honey provides lots of energy to the body & helps in increases athletic performance
  • Helps prevent cancer and heart disease
  • Reduces ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders 
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal


  • Beekeeping history is as old as human civilisation, when people used to live in caves. It was during the Cretaceous period that flowering plants evolved on the earth, and honeybees also co-evolved in nature. Primitive humans used to hunt honey from wild honeybee colonies found in the cavities of hollow trees, on rocks, etc., which is still practised by rural/ tribal people. Nowadays, beekeeping has become a full-fledged industry, as it not only provides honey, beeswax, royal jelly, propolis, and bee venom, which are very useful for therapeutic purposes and daily uses but also has a significant contribution to the pollination of various fruits and crops.



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Courtesy: Kurukshetra