Highlights of Bee:
There are almost 20,000 different species of bees in the world.
Bees live in colonies and in each colony, there are three types of bees, the queen bee, the worker bee, and the drone.
The worker and the queen bee both are females, but only the queen bee can reproduce. All drones are male.
India is home to four of the seven known bee species.
Two of these are domesticated, Apis cerana (oriental honey bee) and Apis mellifera (European honey bee), and the other two are wild, Apis dorsata (giant/rock honey bee) and Apis florea (dwarf honey bee).
World Bee Day is celebrated annually on 20th May.
What do we Know about World Bee Day?
The day marks the birth anniversary of Anton Janša, a pioneer of modern apiculture.
Anton Janša hailed from a family of beekeepers in Slovenia, where beekeeping is an important agricultural activity with a long-standing tradition.
Anton enrolled in the first bee-keeping school in Europe and worked full-time as a beekeeper.
His book 'Discussion on Bee-keeping' was also published in German.
What is the Significance of Beekeeping?
Most Important Pollinators:
Bees are some of the most important pollinators, ensuring food and food security, sustainable agriculture, and biodiversity.
In the long-term, the protection of bees and the beekeeping sector can help reduce poverty and hunger, as well as preserve a healthy environment and biodiversity.
Sustainable Agriculture and Creating Rural Jobs:
Beekeeping is also important in terms of sustainable agriculture and creating rural jobs.
By pollinating, they increase agricultural production, thus maintaining diversity and variety in the fields.
In addition, they provide millions of people with jobs and are an important source of farmers' income.
Achieving India’s Target of Doubling Farmers Income:
As per Food and Agricultural Organization database, in 2017-18, India ranked eighth in the world in terms of honey production (64.9 thousand tonnes) while China stood first with a production level of 551 thousand tonnes.
Further, beekeeping can be an important contributor in achieving the 2022 target of doubling farmer incomes.
What is the Status of the Apiculture in India?
The globally apiculture market is estimated to register a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.3% during the period 2020–25, with Asia–Pacific as the dominant producer.
The Indian apiculture market size is expected to reach a value of Rs 33,128 million by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of nearly 12% by 2024.
India is the sixth major natural honey exporting country.
During 2019–20, the recorded export of natural honey was 59,536.75 MT for Rs 633.82 crore. The major export destinations were the USA, Saudi Arab, Canada, and Qatar.
For propagating the sector, the landscape for beekeeping and the species could be expanded on a commercial scale.
What are Related Initiatives?
It is an ambitious initiative of the Government of India for promoting apiculture, popularly known as 'beekeeping'.
To provide a booster shot to Sweet Revolution, the government launched the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission in 2020 (under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare).
National Beekeeping and Honey Mission aims to establish 5 big regional and 100 small honey and other Bee Products testing laboratories.
Out of the total target, 3 world class state-of-the-art laboratories have been setup, whereas 25 small laboratories are in the process of being set up.
Assistance for Setting up of Processing Units:
India is also providing assistance to the beekeepers for setting up of Processing Units.
More than 1.25 lakh metric tonnes of honey is being produced in the country, out of which more than 60 thousand metric tonnes of natural honey is exported.