Bee-keeping programs in the Chittagong hilly areas under Government funds- More funds needed.
The Bee-keeping Program has been running since 2000 under the financial assistance of different Government Projects (Foreign funded mostly) and accordingly been submitting Work plan each financial year by Forest Protection Division. The same Division has been planning and implementing the Bee-keeping programs since then; and as a continuation of the implementation, we have submitted a work plan and estimate for the next financial year, i.e. 2005-06. We are, therefore, urging the related responsible Project to clear the budget in this regard for the smooth running of the Program.
This is no to be forgotten that the Bee-keeping Program has been taken under the implementation in order to – Poverty alleviation, upliftment of socio-economic condition of the poor Hilly farmers, to increase the production and quality of honey and other bee products, To use honey bees for pollination of crops to increase yield, To generate income and employment opportunities, to build a healthy nutrition reserve, to develop the environmental condition of the Hilly areas, and continuation of good forestation & to conserving bio-diversity.
Selected Thirteen Locality in the Hilly areas of Chittagong we established Bee-boxes and Bee-colonies as a model with a view to motivating the Hilly farmers toward the Bee-keeping, and existing ones can continue expanding their already running programs. So, the Bee-boxes and colonies needed to be maintained properly, i.e., damaged ones required to be mended and some needed to be re-established along with following up the progress and monitoring the activities of the Bee-keepers needed to be ensured.
The Bee-box along with the Bee-colonies established set up under Api-culture program (a component Project) at the Chittagong Hilly Areas are at the verge of abolishment due to hostile natural conditions e.g., effect of climate change temperature rising, excessive rainfall, wild ants, snakes, Wax-moths, Thai Sack Brood Virus (TSBV) and other diseases. Hence, the Bee-colonies are needed to be re-established. Sheds over the Bee-boxes are to be maintained and repaired where necessary. The remaining vulnerable Bee-boxes are needed to be maintained and taken care of in order to safe guarding the colonies from being destroyed by the above mentioned causes.
Moreover, in the coming rainy season the Bee-colonies are needed to be fed manually to keep the starvation away. As a preventive measure the Bee-boxes and colonies are needed to be inspected and supervised physically at least once in fifteen days to check whether the external threat like wax-moths, TSBV, Fungi, and other diseases are attacking the colonies.
The gardening of Bee-Keepers’ yards should be cared of seriously. The sufficient seeds and plants are required to be supplied and nurtured, for, the Jhoomia tribes burn down the forest to clean up lands for Jhoom cultivation during the month of April and May every year which affects the unnecessary deforestation, which means destruction of plants from where bees extract nectar and pollen. Termites are the serious problem to destruction of Bee-hives. In the targeted areas who are interested should be taken under training program / Field days to make them and motivate them as successful Honey producers.
Meanwhile only at Shualok area Field days are done. More alarming is that most of the Keepers use pesticides and insecticides unscientifically and without knowing the consequences of misusing or abusing of it. In this regard knowledge sharing and self motivation program with inter and intra-relationship through the Bee-Keepers’ Local Associations are needed to be made more vigorously active and Samittee meeting should be conducted once in two weeks at least.
So, in order to make the objectives achieved under various Projects e.g., increment of harvest, qualitative hilly environment conservation, economic development of poor people, poverty alleviation and solving the unemployment problems – Api-culture has been proven to be an effective.
For solving the above stated problems and make the Api-culture program effective we need sufficient funds immediately, otherwise the efforts and successes so far been achieved would go in vain.