Beekeeping with Apis cerana: An indigenous tradition of tribal areas of Chamba district (Himachal Pradesh)
Traditional beekeeping in Chamba is very primitive. The present study aims to recognize and document the traditional knowledge and methods of beekeeping with Apis Cerana in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. The cluster data of 250 traditional beekeepers was collected from 25 villages of five development blocks of Chamba district during 2018-2019.The suitable agro-climatic conditions, plenty of wild as well as cultivated bee flora and their traditional knowledge offers vast potential for development and success of apiculture in the district. The indigenous hives are known as Ganar in Chamba district. The wall hives are made by leaving cavity while constructing house and thus they vary in their size. Size of log hives depends upon the tree truck collected from the forest. Honey harvesting is done in rational way by squeezing the combs, hence total destructions of bee hives. Cleaning of hives is done with raw comb mixed with flower extracts or juniper/ pine needles, which in turn helps them to attract swarms. Unfortunately, traditional beekeeping A. cerana is under threat due to construction of pukka houses and lack of scientific knowledge of beekeeping to the traditional bee keepers.
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