Himalayan News Service

Pokhara, February 16

Himalal Pokharel of Chitwan gets about 1,500 to 1,800 kg honey each year from his bees.

From this business, which he had started eight years ago by investing Rs 7,000, today he earns about Rs 1.5 million annually.

"I have 250 hives and three

employees besides the eight members of my family to look after," he said. He however feels let down when he has to sell good quality honey at a low price. He and both of his sons are graduates and all of them are proud to be in the profession. He said he has already invested more than two million rupees in it.

"Each hive yields 70 to 80 kg of honey. But we have to transfer the hives in search of flowers," he said. The price of honey varies with flowers on which the bees feed.

He has placed eight to 10 hives in each hectare of land with blooming mustard. To take care of the hives placed in the nearby forest, he has deployed a guard. He said that no one has harmed the hives so far and not even stolen honey, although these hives are located in the forest.

"Melifera species makes up 90 percentage of the bees," he said. Every year during the months of Baishakh, Jeshtha and Aashadh, he said, he has to destroy 2,000 frames with bees because there is scarcity of flowers.

"Though we produce honey of good quality, our product is not getting a good market. Instead, honey is being imported from India," he complained. Pokharel has been supplying honey to Kathmandu, Pokhara, Narayangarh, Biratnagar and other cities. In Chitwan, beekeepers have established a cooperative organisation for apiculture promotion.