Sustaining Life: The Art of Living’s Beekeeping Initiative

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BENGALURU, India, July 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Honey bees are nature’s tiny superheroes, essential for agriculture due to their vital role as essential pollinators. Recognising the significant contribution played by honey bees in the reproduction of many plants, The Art of Living, with guidance from the world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, was quick to introduce a comprehensive bee keeping training programme. Participants gain insights into bee life cycles, hive dynamics, honey processing, and colony management to optimise crop pollination.

The Decline in Honey Bee Numbers

Honey bees face a drastic decline in their population due to two primary factors: chemical farming and urban sprawl. Harmful pesticides used in agriculture can kill bees instantly, while urbanisation exacerbates the problem by destroying native trees, further reducing bee populations.

Protecting Honey Bees Safeguards Agricultural Output, Ecosystem Health & Biodiversity

As they move from flower to flower in search of nectar, bees also gather pollen on their legs, transferring it and encouraging plants to reproduce. Each honey bee can visit up to 3,000 flowers daily depending on the season, making them incredibly efficient pollinators. 

Honey bees are responsible for pollinating around 1/3rd of the world’s crops, including fruits, vegetables, and nuts. 95 out of 100 commonly consumed vegetables rely on Honey bee pollination. According to the American Department of Agriculture, out of 3,52,800 identified plant species, as many as 3,06000 require pollination primarily by bees. Without their hard work, many of the favourite foods such as apples, almonds, tomatoes, pumpkins would be in short supply. 

Protecting and nurturing these creatures is essential for our survival and well-being, as emphasised by Albert Einstein’s famous remark, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left.”

The Art of Living’s Beekeeping Training Matters

This Art of Living initiative spans across multiple locations, with basic level skill training programmes in Karnataka, Pune, & other places, demonstrating a commitment to expanding beekeeping knowledge and practice.

Farmers are trained to enhance their income by rearing honey bee colonies. For example, with two bee boxes, a farmer can produce 8 to 10 kg of pure honey annually, free from any adulteration, which can be sold at a premium price. This can yield around 10,000 rupees per year. Once a year, between September and February, the colonies will be split to prevent swarming, where excess bees leave with a new queen to form a new colony. By multiplying their boxes over time through division, one colony becomes two colonies, and adds more colonies. The farmers can also sell the colonies and make revenue, with each colony priced at Rs 4,500/-. This results in a total income of 18,000 to 20,000 rupees annually, requiring minimal initial investment compared to other businesses.

Additionally, farmers can earn from selling pollen, propolis, wax, and even additional bee colonies, potentially doubling their income.

Educating Neighbouring Farmers is Crucial

Since bees roam freely, they may visit neighbouring farms that use chemical pesticides, which can harm or kill them. Therefore, it is essential for surrounding farms to embrace natural farming practices to protect bees and sustain their vital role in pollination. By educating neighbouring farmers on natural farming techniques, The Art of Living creates safer habitats for bees and ensures their continued presence.

The agricultural lands and forests heavily rely on bees and other pollinators for their productivity. Beekeeping stands out as a low-investment opportunity for farmers, offering a sustainable income stream compared to other ventures. The Art of Living promotes beekeeping alongside natural farming. This not only boosts their incomes and crop yields but also plays a pivotal role in preserving biodiversity.

About The Art of Living Social Projects 

Inspired by the world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar; The Art of Living is a global non-profit organisation dedicated to peace, well-being, and humanitarian service. Committed to holistic development, The Art of Living champions various initiatives, including water conservation, sustainable agriculture, afforestation, free education, skill development, women empowerment, integrated village development, renewable energy and waste management. Through these multifaceted efforts, The Art of Living strives to create positive social and environmental impact, fostering a more sustainable and harmonious future for all.

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