Kashmir's Apiculturists Hope For A Big Harvest

17 June 2009

Srinagar: Honey is the buzzword for the apiculturists in Srinagar as they rear their apiaries, laced with hopes of a big harvest, this year. The production of honey got affected badly last year due to Vorroa mites attack, which the authorities and bee keepers have successfully controlled this year. 'Last year honey production was affected because of diseases. In fact bee keepers have been struggling with diseases for the last five year...this year we took some preventive measures...now we expect a good produce this year,' said M. D. Parrey, a bee keeper. The valley exported 100 metric tonnes honey in 2005-06 and 2006-07, 150 metric tonnes in 2007-08. The target export for 2008-09 is set up at 200 metric tonnes and for 2009-10 the target is 300 metric tones. Last year the production was 250 metric tonnes and we are expecting the production of more than 300 metric tonnes this year,' said Riyaz Ahmed, another beekeeper. Currently, there are 40,000 bee colonies in the Kashmir valley. An average bee colony yields about 10-15 kilograms of honey produced by the 20,000 to 60,000 bees working to create the sweet nectar. Kashmir valley, often termed as the valley of flowers, is known for producing the finest grade of honey, which is in high demand in the United States, UK and Middle East nations. Honey has numerous uses. It is used as medicine, food or as an ingredient in various food recipes. It is also an excellent medium for vitamins and contains all vitamins essential for health.