Shillong, May 22: The ‘World Honey Bee Day’ was observed today at All Saint’s Hall with an aim to raise awareness about the importance of bees and other pollinators for humankind and at the same time, give an opportunity for entrepreneurs to sell and display their products.
Speaking on the occasion, Additional Chief Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner, KN Kumar on Tuesday in his address spoke at length about the importance of bees as pollinators and the threat posed to humankind due to their dwindling population worldwide.
Citing the indiscriminate use of pesticides as one of the main reason for the decrease in bee population, Kumar said that the need to the hour is to ban the use of pesticides in the State.
He also informed that the introduction of foreign bee species like the Apis mellifera to boost honey production was detrimental to the survival of indigenous bee species and hence called for a proper survey to be carried out so as to ensure that the ecosystem of local species is not harmed. Further, Kumnar also highlighted the need to establish the Meghalaya Agriculture Research Institute so that local issues can be effectively addressed.
In order to streamline and add value to beekeeping activities in the state, Kumar also reiterated that need to establish the Meghalaya Honeybee Board.
Meanwhile, the state Agriculture Minister, Banteidor Lyngdoh lauded the office of the District Horticulture Officer, East Khasi Hills for drawing attention to the need to preserve and protect bees particularly as there is a growing threat to their population globally.
Stating that the government is doing all that it can to uplift the economic conditions of farmers, he urged more and more farmers to take up bee keeping as it is a lucrative business.
In order to boost bee keeping activities in the state, Lyngdoh agreed to the need to constitute the Meghalaya Honeybee Board. During the programme, Bee Keeper T Lyngdoh and Bee Processor P Wahlang shared their experience with the gathering and encouraged fellow farmers to take up bee keeping proactively. On the occasion the Chief Guest also gave away prizes to the winners of the honey exhibition which was judged on May 21st, 2018.