GUWAHATI: To create awareness about the role of bees and other pollinators for the ecosystem, World Bee Day was celebrated at Byrnihat, near Guwahati. The day-long programme was organized by Honey Bee Mission. In this connection, a workshop on beekeeping was also organized, where Mowsam Hazarika, agricultural expert, former editor of Bigyan Jeuti and noted science activist, participated as resource person. It may be mentioned that May 20 coincides with the birthday of Anton Jansa, who pioneered the modern beekeeping techniques in his native Slovenia in the 18th century. He praised the bees for their ability to work so hard while needing only minimal attention. The United Nations, UN Member States approved Slovenia’s proposal recently in December 2017, to proclaim May 20 as World Bee Day.
In his keynote address, Hazarika said that more than half of global food crops rely on animal pollination. However, numerous statistics suggest the sad reality of today’s species that are facing higher extinction rates due to human impacts. Honey Bees and other pollinators like butterflies, bats and hummingbirds are increasingly under threat from human activities. He mentioned that, bees and other pollinators allow plants, including many food crops, to reproduce. Not only do they contribute directly to food security, but experts suggest they also serve as sentinels for emergent environmental risks, signaling the health of ecosystems. In the workshop, he also explained about the scientific beekeeping and income generating aspects of honey bee production.
According to a press release, several educated youths participated in the workshop and interacted with the different experts present in the programme. Bimal Roy, Amrit Singh and Debojit Saha of Honey Bee Mission demonstrated the various products related to honey bee production in the workshop.
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