An Overview of Apiculture in Bangladesh

Since time immemorial beekeeping has been practiced hazardly in Bangladesh. But now a days some government and international NGO’s provides necessary equipments,information and capital to farmer level to encourage them for apiculture.

History of Apiculture in Bangladesh:

In the 1960’s Bangladesh Small & Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) started beekeeping in wooden hives at Jatrapur under Khulna. The result at that time was not also satisfactory due to inappropriate technology and ultimately the activities were stopped in the same decade. In 1977 BSCIC again started beekeeping in modern and scientific way. Having successful efforts promotion and extension of beekeeping activities is being launched by BSCIC throughout the country since 1977. Now on realizing the importance and utility of honey, other bee products and beekeeping, many other organizations started and assisted modern beekeeping in the country. However, no attempt was made prior to BSCIC in the past to introducemodern, scientific and systematic beekeeping in Bangladesh. Now BSCIC is implementing the beekeeping Project for the period of 1990-2005.(Reference:BEEKEEPING FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT, ITS POTENTIALITY AND BEEKEEPING AGAINST POVERTY - BANGLADESH PERSPECTIVE J. CH. SAHA)
Objectives of the project are:
         - Identification and utilization of the honey resource areas in the country;
         - Propagation and familiarization of the scientific methods of beekeeping through training and demonstration;
         - Increasing of the production of quality crops, fruits, vegetables and seeds through cross-pollination;
         - Plantation in the view point of bee-plants and environment as well;
         - Poverty alleviation, employment and income generation, production of pure honey in the form of rural development in the country.

Current Situation: 

It may be mentioned here that in most of the 86 thousand villages in Bangladesh beekeeping is more or less feasible on the basis of existing natural bee plants. So it is to be expected that if there would be at least 5 beekeeping in each village in average then there would be more than 0.4 million people to be engaged in bee-keeping activities. By way of this 0.4 million people to be engaged in keeping bees and when each bee-keeper on average will produce 10 kg of honey then there would be a total honey production of about 4,000 metric tons which is worth TK. 800 (US$ 14 millions) millions per year. On the other hand additional crop, vegetable and fruit production as per scientific record is to be worth Tk. 8000 (US$140 millions) millions by way of pollination through bee-keeping activities in the country. So it is to be appreciable that through the scientific and proper implementation and expansion of beekeeping through research and demonstration in the country there will be a good amount of honey production with enhanced crop, vegetable and fruit production. Subsequently a large number of employment generation is also to be happened as well.
(Reference:BEEKEEPING FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT, ITS POTENTIALITY AND BEEKEEPING AGAINST POVERTY - BANGLADESH PERSPECTIVE J. CH. SAHA)

         Nevertheless, in the context of large unrealized potentiality of rural beekeeping in Bangladesh the
following socio-economic benefits can be achieved:
  • Promotion and enhancement of agricultural production;
  • Enhancement of the quality and production of fruits;
  •  Promotion and expansion of forest wealth;
  •  Increasing plant community in the environment.
  •  Saving and/or earning foreign currency by producing and/or exporting honey and other bee  products;
  •  Prevention of diseases by taking pure honey regularly;
  • Curing of some particular diseases;
  • Promotion and increasing the nutrition value of food;
  • Use of wax and other bee products in various industrial products;
  • Promotion of medicine quality;
  • Upgrading the quality and standard of food in the view point of taste and nutrition;
  • Increasing the rural based cottage industry in the country;
  • Family solvency through additional income broadly in the rural areas;
  • New employment generation by way of rural beekeeping extension;
  • Accelerating the development of national economy.

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