On visits to hill stations like Ooty in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu, it isn’t uncommon to see bicycles plying the serpentine roads, their carriers laden with jars of honey. The sight of the jars, mounted precariously and sticky with the viscous liquid, draws tourists in droves, all sold on the idea of pristine, unprocessed honey. The sellers, whether they know it or not, are the lowest rung in a revolution quietly playing out across the country.
India’s honey biz is not the bee’s knees, but it’s trying
India’s bee colonies have grown from 2.2 million to 3.4 million in three years. Now it dreams of growing them to 200 million. The hurdles, however, are legion
Mathematically, keeping India’s vast flora in mind, India’s 200 million beekeeping dream isn’t impossible
Reality, however, includes training and support for farmers as well as quality control for honey
Besides, there are almost too many unchecked, unorganised beekeepers unaware of common malpractices
Can India’s Honey Mission make it, despite the odds?