Budding beekeepers will have to wait a little longer to actually hold honeycombs in their hand, spot the queen bee amidst buzzing honey bees in a comb or see the oozing golden-coloured unprocessed honey, as the city-based Central Bee Research and Training Institute (CBRTI) has shifted its training sessions online.
The training, including theory and practical sessions, will all be online.
“Due to Covid-19, we could not conduct any training. Now, we have interacted with potential trainees to check if the virtual medium would suit them. Our first training session online will begin on September 7,” said Lakshmi Rao, assistant director, CBRTI.
The institute trains about 50 to 60 beekeepers every month through two sessions, however, the pandemic stalled the regular activities.
“While learning and working from home have now become the new normal for many, conducting beekeeping training online will have its own set of challenges,” said Rao.
“Since many of the trainees are not equipped and acquainted with using laptops or computers, we had to consult them initially about this online training session. For instance, some may find it difficult in switching on the microphone or camera at the time of session,” Rao said, adding that the institute was also considering alternatives for trainees who did not have computers or were well versed with technology.
With travel restrictions likely to ease in the coming days, the institute is also readying a special classroom and laboratory for those who could travel to the institute for attending training.
The senior scientist said, “The existing room can accommodate 50 people, but adhering to social distancing norms, we will have to limit it to 10 trainees at a time. We are also considering conducting multiple practicals during the day, so that there is no large crowd in attendance at one go. The trainers and trainees will be placed in different rooms in order to maintain limited contact.”
But, the biggest advantage of going online will be for beekeeping enthusiasts located anywhere in India, who can now be a part of the training activity.
Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is developing its own virtual meeting platform, so that seamless online training sessions can be conducted even in the coming months.