Aiming to spread awareness about the importance of honeybees, city-based Central Bee Research and Training Institute (CBRTI) plans to offer beekeeping courses to college and university students in Maharashtra.
Talks on commencing courses at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) are presently on. Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, showing interest in introducing the courses at academic institutions, directed university officials to tie up with CBRTI.
Though the institute gives beekeeping training to farmers, both at introductory and advanced-levels, this new initiative proposes to reach maximum people, particularly the youth.
“We are open to offering courses and designing syllabus suiting students at college and university levels. The courses will inform students about the agriculture cycle and corresponding breeding time of honeybees, kinds of bees and the flowers they use for gathering nector. It will also cover the social and forestry aspects involved in commercial bee keeping,” said CBRTI director, Deep Verma.
As agriculture colleges do not offer specialised beekeeping courses, the initiative also plans to take these courses to the colleges.
Earlier this month, bee experts and former scientists from the Centre had conducted the maiden session for some city-based college students.
Once trained and gained expertise, the centre hopes to rope-in some of these beekeeping experts as ‘Bee Mitras’ (Friends of Bees), similar to Sarp Mitras (friends of snakes).
Some master trainers have been identified and already sent filed tasks in Ratnagiri, Nashik, Pune, Dahanu, Kolhaour, Baramati, Talegaon, Raighad. Their primarily responsibility involves monitoring beekeeping activities by people, who have purchased honeybee boxes.
“The Bee Mitras will be given charge of monitoring beekeeping activities at block-levels,” said another senior scientist from the institute.