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Wild bees are not accustomed to hot climate conditions. Their populations in the Western ghat region are now dwindling as a result of global warming. If this trend continues, pollination may cease and, as a result, the regeneration of forest plants will be in peril. In addition, agriculture in the forest periphery is affected.
Collecting wild honey disturbs the natural habitat: it withholds precious food from the next generation of bees. At the same time, each hive looses thousands of bees due to the use of smoke during honey collection. Like any other unnecessary act of killing wild life, this is against environmental ethics.
In this scenario, the Tribal Foundation (Nagercoil) seeks to provide viable alternatives to collecting honey in the wild. The Kaani people are taught how to keep bees and thereby get honey also for marketing. This can be done without disturbing the environment. At the same time, wild bee populations get a chance to recover.
One of our beneficiaries extracted 15 bottles of honey from Feb.2013 to May 2013, during the season. (Each bottle has 1 kg of honey.)
In March 2014, the Horticulture Department plans to supply 8 members of the Kaani community with separate beehives. Mr. Ashok Macrin (54) is an agricultural graduate working in Horticultural Department in Tamil Nadu Government service. It has earlier procured honey bees for the Kaani community at subsidized rates.
Photos and information: courtesy Davidson Sargunam 2013 Tribal Foundation (Nagercoil)
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