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Government’s honeybee boxes substandard, say farmers

Farmers, who gained honeybees underneath the National Horticulture Mission, say that the bins supplied by way of the government were of substandard high quality. They say many of them had ‘unhealthy wood’, elderly queen bees and lesser combs than required to start off.

However, the seller who supplied the bins says she will vouch for high quality. She says many farmers don't attend the desired coaching for honeybee rearing.

Deputy director of the horticulture division Uma said 750 farmers within the district bought honeybee bins from the dept since April 2018. Pollachi-based honeybee rearer and farmer A Vivek said, “Government's honeybee box is in style as a result of it is 100% subsidized. We pay Rs 1,600 to shop for a box from the horticulture division. The money is refunded into our bank accounts inside a month.”

“Around 100 farmers in Anamalai block accumulated the honeybee bins. Queen bee was lacking in 5% of the bins,” L Subramania Gounder, a farmer, said. "Many bins have best two honey combs instead of considered necessary three or 4 combs,” he said. “Most of the farmers who were given bins, weren't even trained in bee rearing. They don’t know how to test for the presence of the queen bee, its age, selection of combs provide or even the right way to deal with an apiary,” he added.

Mahalakshmi, any other farmer in Thadagam, said the bins were fabricated from wrong wood. “The picket bins have gaps and looks as if it'll get affected by infestation if rainwater falls on it,” she said. M R Srinivasan, answerable for the apiary and bee protecting coaching in Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, dismissed complaints against the wood used to make the bins. However, he agreed that the opposite concerns were authentic.

“While any dry light-weight wood can be utilized for the bins, a tender or young and mated queen bee is needed, and you need a minimum of three combs to create a colony successfully,” he said.

“However, no honeybee box provider would give less than the above. The farmers appear to lack coaching to identify the above,” he added.

Josephine Selvaraj, founding father of VIBIS, which supplied the honeybee bins underneath the scheme, said they had conducted coaching for farmers.

“We were there on November 13 and 14 and conducted coaching in 5 horticulture places of work for farmers from all blocks. I also gave them my quantity to call me immediately for any doubt or factor,” Selvaraj, probably the most a success honeybee rearers within the state. “However, in each and every block rarely 40 farmers turned up for coaching,” she added.

Josephine said now not a unmarried box her firm supplied had less than three combs.

“We used the wood of Punnai, Vengai and Pazha bushes to make bins, which might be commonly used species. If any farmer’s box does now not have a queen bee they are able to contact us for a replacement. We have given best young queen bees. We are willing to conduct more loose coaching programmes,” she added.

Meanwhile, Uma said, “Farmers can’t whinge about high quality. They can purchase honeybee bins from any dealer and just give us the bill.”

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