Honey is where the money is

Today Nirania has about 70 bee colonies and has also brought out a organic honey brand, Himbee, which sells at Rs 300 a kg in the market.

“For the past few training sessions, I have been observing that honeybee farming is popular not only with landless farmers but also with people in white-collar jobs, who are coming for the training camps,” said Dr Yuvraj Pandha, assistant professor at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Ferozepur.

Dyan Singh, 30, is another such beekeeper. Working as an inclusive education volunteer at a government school, he rears his colonies in 25 boxes and sells his honey among his friends at Rs 300 a kg. His additional income comes to around Rs 80,000 a year as of now.

Beekeeping catching on in Jammu and Kashmir

A projected honey output over 500 tonnes, 7,500 beekeepers and growing, with 29,850 bee colonies between them. Beekeeping has been catching on in Jammu and Kashmir, with production having jumped from 300 tonnes in 2010 to 597 last year.

It’s a trend that also creates job avenues for the unemployed, say officials, pointing out that many educated youths are among those setting up bee colonies in the countryside because of its promise. Honey has not only a local market but also demand nationally and and internationally. In the last six years, 1,067 tonnes was exported out of the valley.