Practices of Apiculture in India!
Man has at several occasions proved his intelligence and superior skill by converting the wondrous capabilities of the animal world to his material advantage.
One of the finest discoveries in this line is our knowledge regarding the procurement of honey collected by bees.
The use of honey was known to man since the earliest of times in India as well as in other parts of the world, because it is a nourishment of high food values.
In olden days and in many places still, the methods utilized for obtaining honey from the hive is very crude. Crushing of hive to extract honey destroys the endeavouring efforts of bees which they serve during the formation of comb and in providing nourishment to the developing larvae. Not only are the comb and larvae destroyed, this method also gives very unhygienic honey. Modern investigators have over-comed these difficulties by using scientific methods of bee keeping which is known as apiculture.
Bee keeping has been practised in India since time immemorial. The earliest references date back to Vedas and Ramayana. But scientific bee keeping with the help of simple machine and untouched by hand is a comparatively new venture. The western method of frame-hive was first introduced in Bengal in 1882 and in the Punjab in 1883-84. In recent times progress has been rapid, for practical apiculture is an art which has, during the last forty years, not only undergone a complete revolution but has attained a development and multiplicity of detail.
It was due to the efforts of the khadi and village industries that bee-keeping acquired its present co-ordinated national status in India. In 1962 the commission under its directorate of bee—keeping established the Central Bee Research Training Institute at Pune. This institute is gradually progressing and has made its observation posts at Kodaikanal, Mercara, Castle Rock, Mahabaleshwar, Kangra and Kashmir.