Apiculture as a Career Option

By Ranjan K Baruah

We are aware that for centuries bees are the hardest working creatures on the planet and it has benefited people, plants and the environment. By carrying pollen from one flower to another, bees and other pollinators enable not only the production of an abundance of fruits, nuts and seeds, but also more variety and better quality, contributing to food security and nutrition.

The most important product that we get from bees is honey and it is a wonderful creation. Honey has many different benefits and is among the most popular and widely used sweeteners with enormous health benefits. Bees are mainly reared for their honey but we also get other products like beeswax. Anton Janša was a pioneer of modern apiculture who came from a family of beekeepers in Slovenia, where beekeeping is an important agricultural activity with a long-standing tradition.

If we talk about bees, honey and career then we must talk about apiculture as an option for many young people in the region. Well, apiculture is the scientific method of rearing honeybees. The word ‘apiculture’ comes from the Latin word ‘apis’ meaning bee. So, apiculture or beekeeping is the care and management of honey bees for the production of honey and wax. Beekeepers look after apiaries or beehive sites, with the main aim of producing honey. They are also known as apiculturists, bee farmers or apiarists.

To be successful in this field one may not have higher education but it is always good to have degrees or diplomas for self-confidence. There are schemes by central and state governments which also financially support young people who want to get involved in beekeeping for honey rearing. There are short term training programmes conducted by various agencies for which we may be associated with Khadi and Village Industries Commission, MSME Offices, etc.

Keeping in view the importance of beekeeping as part of the Integrated Farming System in the country, the government approved the allocation for Rs. 500 crores for National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM) for three years (2020-21 to 2022-23). The mission was announced as part of the Atma Nirbhar 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.

Young people after taking training may form cooperatives or Self-Help Groups and engage professionally in the bee keeping business.  Bee keeping is a sustainable career as it also helps in biodiversity conservation. A proper planning is needed with passionate activities to be successful in this profession.

Fellowship for Young People: The World Movement for Democracy and the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) invite aspirants to apply for the Hurford Youth Fellows Program in Washington, DC. Each fellow will have the opportunity to build his or her leadership and organizational skills and benefit from and contribute to the development of the World Movement for Democracy and World Youth Movement in particular. Upon the successful completion of each fellowship, the fellows serve as a regional/country focal point, working with the Hurford Youth Fellowship Alumni Network to remain involved and take the lead in youth-related activities.

(Ranjan K Baruah is a career mentor and skill trainer and can be reached at 8473943734 or [email protected] for any career related queries)

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