25 November 2021, Punjab: The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi has sanctioned a 21-day training programme as Winter School on the topic, ‘Commercial Apiculture for Livelihood Security of the Farmers and Unemployed Rural Youth’, to the Department of Entomology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. This is the third consecutive winter school sanctioned by the Apex body in agricultural research and education to this department. According to Dr D.K. Sharma, Head of the Department of Entomology, the above proposal was submitted to the ICAR under the guidance of Dr Pardeep K. Chhuneja, Professor of Entomology with the aim of providing the up-to-date scientific know-how on all the aspects of commercial apiculture to the young scientists of the country working in the field of entomology in general and beekeeping in particular.
Dr Chhuneja who is also the Course Director revealed that earlier the department had organized ICAR funded three 21-days, two 30-days and two 10-days advance trainings in Apiculture and one Winter School in Apiculture. Dr Chhuneja further stated that in the present funded winter school, the aspirant scientists from various parts of the country will get hands-on practice experience on various aspects like bee husbandry practices, diagnosis and management of honey bee pests and diseases, bee diversity and pollination requirement of plants; production, processing and packing of various hive products, mass queen bee rearing and bee breeding, etc. Besides, latest knowledge on assessing the pesticide hazards, anatomical and physiological adaptations in Apis mellifera, navigational cues used by the bees, honey bee nutrition, avenues of honey marketing, apitherapy, etc. will also be provided by the experienced scientists of the institute. The department will also take care of the demand of knowledge on the latest issues like quality and authenticity assurance in honey and pollination needs for which scientists from outside the institute will also be invited.
Dr Jaspal Singh, course coordinator informed that there will be 25 trainees in this programme, and that this residential training programme will be organized during February 8-28, 2022 and will make the trainees well equipped for addressing the problems of beekeepers and promoting the commercial apiculture as a viable start-up for unemployed rural youth. The trainee scientists will also be exposed to apicultural industry including hive and equipment manufacturing, and hive products trading and export industry, etc, besides interaction with progressive beekeepers. Scientists/ researchers working in the field of Entomology can apply for this programme, the details of which are available by logging into the ICAR website https://cbp.icar.gov.in.