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Honey extraction set to go hi-tech in southern districts

R. Sairam

MADURAI: Training in modern methods of extracting honey and other products from beehives will soon be imparted to the technical personnel of Madurai division of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

“The KVIC’s State-level Bee-Keeping Extension Centre at Vijayarai in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh has been tentatively proposed as the training centre since it already has the requisite facilities. If any other suitable facility is found in Madurai region or Tamil Nadu, it will also be considered,” Divisional Director of Madurai Region, M.T. Wakode, told The Hindu on Sunday.

The Madurai region comprises of 10 southern districts.

In lieu of crude methods

At present, farmers / beekeepers in southern districts were using crude methods of extracting honey such as showing fire from a torch close to the hive to chase away the bees to escape from the sting. Select technical personnel would be trained on the use of sophisticated protective gear and other equipment to extract not only honey but other products such as royal jelly, wax and pollen.

They would in turn train local farmers.

“The training will result in an increase in honey output and extraction of other products. If anyone has the requisite infrastructure in place, our staff will be deputed to their place to impart training,” he said.

Training will be given by Mr. Wakode, former Deputy Director of Central Bee Research and Training Institute (CBRTI), Pune.

He would be assisted by two persons from the Bee Research Institute.

A non-governmental organisation in Maharashtra — Pragati Bahuudesya Sanstha at Pulgaon in Wardha district – that received technical assistance from CBRTI had been exporting honey to Japan, said Mr. Wakode.

“We are also looking forward to working with non-governmental organisations and self-help groups interested in this venture,” he said.

Training is likely to take place in the last week of August or early October. Apart from providing an additional source of income, bees also increase the yield of crops such as sunflower and coconut by pollination, he said.

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