What are the benefits of honey and its uses in daily life?
Ans. Honey is an important nutritive food containing various kinds of sugar, protein, free amino acids, minerals, trace elements, enzymes and vitamins with a fairly high caloric value. Its main sugars - laevulose and dextrose are absorbed directly into the blood and provide rapid energy.
How many species of honeybee are available in Pakistan?
Ans. Four species of honeybees are found in Pakistan. Three are indigenous and one is imported and established in Pakistan. These species are present in different ecological areas of the country. The indigenous species are Apis dorsata, Apis cerana, and Apis florea. The occidental species is Apis mellifera.
How to establish bee farming and what are its basic requirements?
Ans. Beekeeping is a profitable business in Pakistan. About 7,000 beekeepers are now rearing exotic species, Apis mellifera in the modern beehives. There are about 300,000 colonies producing 7,500 metric ton honey annually. Congenial climate conditions and bee flora in the country provide excellent opportunities for the expansion of beekeeping. Honeybee flora is present on vast areas in all the provinces including Northern areas, FATA and AJK and can support 1,000,000 honeybee colonies.
PARC can provide training to the individuals and groups of various organizations and also arrange special training courses on request. The investment and income is worked out for beekeepers for honey production having 5, 50,100 and 200 colonies. These colonies need to be migrated to different locations depending upon the availability of honeybee flora.
What is the contribution of PARC in promotion of honey production in Pakistan?
Honeybee Research Programme (HBRP), NARC of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) is one of the important programme for the income generation and poverty alleviation.
Established the occidental honeybee Apis mellifera in Pakistan after more than 16 unsuccessful attempts from 1927 to 1977.
Developed management technologies for higher honey production.
Colony yield increased from 4 kg to 25 kg and annual honey production increased from 250 ton to more than 7,500 ton.
Trained about 7000 beekeepers, out of these 2600 beekeepers are maintaining more than 3,00,000 honeybee colonies in modern Langstroth hives.
Started the use of honeybees for pollination of vegetable-seed, oil-seed, fodder-seed crops and fruit trees for yield increase and quality seed.
Organized 17 national and 72 regional beekeeping training courses.
Strengthened Provincial beekeeping units at Faisalabad and Tarnab, Peshwar and established new units in Quetta, Hyderabad and Azad Kashmir.
Set up beekeeping units at Gilgit and Nagar with the collaboration of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme.
Set up beekeeping unit at University of the Punjab, Lahore for teaching, demonstration and research purposes.
What are the major economic benefits of bee farming?
Ans. The major economic benefits are:
Crop pollination: The share of honeybees in crop pollination is 80 %. It improves the quality of fruits, vegetable and yield of seed crops.
Honey Production: Honey production from occidental bees is up to 24 kg per colony per annum. The bidder honey fetches maximum price.
Beehive value-added by-products: Royal jelly, pollen and propolis are used as health food and beeswax in cosmetics. Beekeepers in Pakistan are maintaining a fairly large number of honeybee colonies and are capable of producing royal jelly, pollen propolis and beeswax. The production and value addition of by-products would supplement the income of beekeepers.