As the wild mustards are bursting with its brilliant yellow blossoms across fields in Bajali, Assam, it not only entices the passers-by, but also the bees. The bright yellow flowers produce an abundance of both pollen and nectar for bees and other pollinators, and this opportunity is well perceived by four youths of Bajali who have ventured into a profitable business through apiculture.
Not lamenting over being unemployed, the youths from the district chose an unconventional path and are now earning in lakhs by selling honey from their home. They set a rare example of self-reliance by bee keeping in large scale as the scope is still available in the rural areas. The four youths- Nishanta, Mrinmay, Uddipta and Heramba are fully occupied as they remain busy collecting honey throughout the day. They selected a huge mustard seed cultivation field for honey production near the Mainamati area under Bajali district around 8 kms from the headquarters town of the district in the northern side. As the fields are blooming with yellow mustard, so is the production of honey.
“We have installed about 200 bee hives of Apis Mellifera breeds of honey bees, a European honey bee. Apart from that 100 bee hives of local breed of honey bees were also installed in an open field adjacent to the mustard seed cultivation field. We have to collect the honey from bee beds by a manually run centrifugal device in an interval of six days from each box,” said Nishanta Talukdar one of the bee keeper.
Mrinmay Kalita apprised that they target around 10 tons of honey production this season. “We are selling the pure honey locally after filtering at a price of Rs 350 to 400 per kg in the local market,” Kalita added.
Though their investment is less, their production is high and they earn considerably from nature. The group said that at first they got some boxes of honey bees from the agriculture department two years ago in 2020 and later expanded with the increased population of queen honey bees.