Our Response to COVID-19

Art of Beekeeping project

Art of Beekeeping Project

The “Empowering Women & Communities through the Art of Beekeeping” project, for the promotion of beekeeping as a means of sustainable livelihood for villagers, was started in April 2023. The initiative targeted the 3 villages of Nala, Bhiri and Giriya, in Uttarakhand, reaching 65 women villagers in Self-Help Groups SHG to provide them training, and set up an apiary in each of the villages. It came as a step towards sustainable development and a better tomorrow for the people of Uttarakhand.The project was in partnership with Maruti Overseas and supported by ESRI India.

The project included:
  • Courses and practical trainings on various aspects of beekeeping.
  • Post-training business development workshops to increase the potential for business success: enhancing the effective functioning of SHGs, digital literacy.Amrita Overall Approach and States of Implementation
  • Industry exposure field visits.
  • Participation in trade-shows and exhibitions to sell beekeeping-based products.
  • Help in capital funding to Self-Help Group (SHG) members.

As the project kicked off, the participating trainees were provided with the needed new beehive boxes, tools, equipment and materials.

Activities and Events:
  • April 2023 – The 1st phase training was completed in the 3 villages with beekeeping experts demonstrating the process of setting up a beehive: Identifying the queen bee, the worker bees, the eggs, larva and pupa – Cleaning the bee box – Maintaining a healthy colony – Different types of honey and their various health benefits – Different types of tools used in beekeeping – Setting wax seeds in bee hive frame – Dividing the bees in the box – Royal jelly.
  • May 2023 – Practice and theory sessions along with internal exams, took place in the 3 villages. The ladies learned: Fixing the frame inside the bee box – Fixing wax to the frame – Fitting the wire in the frame – The pupa and queen bee behavior in the beehive – Symptoms and treatment of bee diseases – Rearing bees by keeping them in the box – Identify the type of bees thank can be reared in mountains climate conditions – The process of separating honey from beehives by machine – Shifting bees from old houses to boxes
  • June & July 2023 – 14-day intensive business classes took place in each of the 3 villages. They included : Definition of business – Market demand – Starting a business – Market analysis – Resources needed to start a business – Creating a management committee – Importance of saving – How to avail government schemes and get loans – Self Help Groups formation – Financial Planning – Team Building – Objectives & Goals of a Business – Entrepreneurship – Personal Passbook – Market Research – Market Demand – Market Size – Pricing of products – Understanding the business environment – Importance of location – Understanding the customers behavior – Market Strategies – Market Trends – Market Competition – Economic Indicators – Value Proposition – Transportation and labor cost – Target Market and Market Segmentation – Finance & Cost – Financial Concepts – Quality Control – Quality checks – Quality plan – Qualification assurance – Quality improvement.
  • August 8, 2023 – LEE in community activity at the Nala village: The women gathered to clean the panchayat building and its surroundings, “Like we keep our houses clean, we have a duty to clean the government property of our village”.
  • August 15, 2023 – The women celebrated Independence Day at the Nala village by unfurling the national flag and singing patriotic songs.
  • August 22, 25 & 26, 2023 – Following the recent heavy rainfalls, the women learned how to clean the dampness that had reached the bee-boxes, fixed the damages and applied wax sheets.
  • September 2023 – The women learned how to prevent ants from entering the bee boxes & causing harm to the bees –  A practical training took place in capturing a bee colony from a large tree using a swarm bag, and shifting it safely and successfully to a bee box.
  • September 25, 2023 – Inaugural ceremony of the 3 apiaries in Giriya, Nala and Bhiri villages.The inauguration marked the successful completion of the trainings that covered the entire beekeeping process.. Each of the 65 village women in the project received 2 more bee boxes, to add to the box they each had been caring for since April 2023.  A total of 195 bee hives had been distributed during the project. The new boxes were given new frames and cleaned with sulfur dust.
  • October 2023 – The bee boxes were checked and geo-tagged in the 3 villages. The boxes were cleaned, new frames put, wax sheets added and the amounts of honey being produced evaluated. The government informed that they are willing to purchase any honey produced by the women part of the project, with a reasonable price.
  • November 2023 – The women were given training and instructions on honey extraction in the 3 villages. They learned how to extract honey from frame hives while caring for the larvae “like one does for his/her own children” and protecting the queen bee.
  • December 2023 – The women, having successfully completed the training, received their certificates during ceremonies held in the villages.