New Delhi: ‘Apiary on Wheels’, a unique concept designed by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) for the easy upkeep and migration of bee boxes having live bee colonies, was flagged off today in Delhi by the Union Minister of MSME, Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, in the presence of V.K. Saxena, Chairman KVIC.
Congratulating the Chairman, Gadkari said, “Beekeeping looks easy but has many intricate difficulties which only a beekeeper would understand. Apiary on Wheels will make the migration, maintenance and feeding of bees easy, and will also help the bees to sustain even in extreme summers.”
Aligned with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, KVIC launched the Honey Mission in 2017 and has been training beekeepers, distributing bee boxes, and helping rural, educated but unemployed youth to earn extra income through beekeeping activities, at their doorstep.
However, beekeeping involves laborious and mentally challenging tasks such as placing bee boxes in strategic positions so as to provide enough nectar from flowers, maintaining bees during summers, and migrating the bee boxes accordingly to fulfill the nourishment needs of bees etc. KVIC has been continuously evolving new ways so as to make this process more easy and less laborious.
Highlighting the benefits of the Apiary on Wheels, Chairman VK Saxena said, “Apiary on wheels is a holistic approach to address the challenges faced by the beekeepers. It is designed so as to reduce the labour and cost of maintaining and keeping bee boxes and live bee colonies across India. This is an example of ‘out of the box thinking’ which KVIC has adopted to benefit the maximum number of people in India and help generate livelihood at the doorsteps.”
Apiary on Wheels is a platform which can carry 20 bee boxes from one place to another without any difficulty. Two large wheels on either side of the Apiary on Wheels and 4 separate compartments with independent doors, having 5 bee boxes each, help the platform to remain intact without disturbing the live bee colonies.
The Apiary on Wheels is also connected with a solar panel system which automatically triggers a fan inside the compartment as soon as the temperature reaches 35 degrees Celsius or above. Not only this, the Apiary on Wheels also has sugar drips which help to feed the bees in the summer.
The Apiary on Wheels is like an attachment which can be easily connected to a tractor or trolley and may be pulled to any suitable destination. In summers, beekeepers usually adopted crude methods to nourish bees and many bees would die in the process. This concept of migration, cooling with the help of solar panels, and sugar drips with zero risk to the lives of bees, will prevent any damages to bee boxes or bee colonies and help produce quality honey.
As a pilot project, the Apiary on Wheels will be placed near mustard farms around the Delhi border under the supervision of local bee keepers and KVIC. After successful implementation, the concept will be replicated on a mass scale across India.