Beekeeping is a part of the Nepalese tradition and is carried out by both rural and urban communities for hundreds of years. Rural communities are more involved in this enterprise because of the more favorable environment there. Beekeeping today has become a very scientific management practice, which involves the proper management of honeybee colony. In Nepal it has been successful in occupying an important place in agriculture and as a cottage industry. The honeybee due to its unique character has become an object of immense interest to mankind. The life of the honeybee has fascinated the intellect of man and has contributed significantly during various phases of human civilization.
Although bee keeping has been practiced in Nepal for many years, the scientific and commercial approach to bee keeping has been in practice fairly decade ago. We can therefore say that the modern commercial bee keeping is still in nascent stage and needs both technological and managerial improvements for under expansion and to become competitive in the world markets. The hard working nature of the Nepalese rural farmers and their ability to adopt to change if convinced of the benefits has resulted in the rapid expansion of bee keeping in the country in the last decade.
Out of the nine recognized species of honeybees in the world, eight live in Asia . Out of these five are economically important and found in Nepal . Apis Cerena, Apis Mellifera, Apis labroiosa , Apis Dorsata, and Apis Florea . Last three bees Apis labroiosa , Apis Dorsata, and Apis Florea are wild bees whereas Apis Cerena, and Apis Mellifera, are domesticated bees Apis Florea is a small honey bee (The little bee), which produces 1-3 Kg honey per year and this honey has great medicinal value in traditional medicines. Apis Dorsata , the grant bee and Apis laboriosa , the rock bee are heavy honey producers. Whereas Apis Mellifera , the European honeybee is introduced decade ago into the country. Nepalese farmers have been reusing Apis Cerena and Apis Melifera for the production of honey, bee wax, propolis royal jelly, bee colonies etc.
There are many districts that are suitable for the production of honey. However, on the basis of the plant/crop production, native flora, and climate certain commercial pocket areas or clusters are selected. Among these pocket areas, some areas have been already developed/established and some are under development/establishment, which are as follows,
|Districts having established pockets||Districts where pockets are under Development|
|Dang, Nawalparsi, Bara, Chitwan, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Sunsari, Salyan, Rupandehi, Kaski||Dadeldhura, Tanahu, Lamjung, Parbat, Dolkha, Baitadi, Dhading, Humla, Jhapa, Kavre, Nuwakot, Palpa, Bardia, Kanchanpur, Kailali|
Other potential districts for pocket development:
Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Surkhet, Dolpa, Bajhang, Bajura, Achham, Jajarkot, Darchula, Myagdi,Baglung, Sindhupalchowk, Sindhuli, Okhaldhunga, Bhojpur, Taplejung, Sankhuwasabha, Panchthar, Ilam, Dhankuta.
Number of hives:
It is estimated that there are more than 125 thousand beehives in Nepal . Out of which, 90,000 are A.cerana hives and 35,000 Apis Melifera hives.