In the season when honey bees throng coffee flowers, Arka Enterprises, a unit of Khadi India has set up a mobile apiary to collect honey, as a part of Nisarga Honey Project.
About 30 beehives have been kept near Titimati-Gonikoppa Highway near Chennangolli where the coffee flowers have bloomed in the plantations.
The mobile apiary is mounted on a tractor trailer and is covered by nets. Honey bees deposit honey in the beehives placed inside the cart.
The mobile apiary will also benefit the plantations as the bees will help in pollination. Along with this, good quality honey will also be available.
“Apiculture which was in good demand in Kodagu in the past has now reduced drastically due to the use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides in plantations. The honey bees were infected by diseases, resulting in the fall in honey collection”, said Ayyappa from Ponnampet.
Honey cultivation trainer Chandrashekhar said that the honey from Kodagu which contains medicinal properties is in good demand from various countries. Considering this, the Central government has implemented the honey project, with the support of Khadi India.
He further said that two to three kilogram of honey can be collected from a beehive every month. A profit of Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 can be earned per month, he added.
The coffee planters have been inviting the resource persons to place beehives at their plantations. The project will be extended in the future, said Chandrashekhar and hoped that the district will rediscover the lost glory in apiculture.