Remember how we were taught about the food chain in school? One of the most important roles here is played by bees, who are vital for cross-pollination — which protects local biodiversities and, consequently, at least 30 to 35 per cent of the crops produced in the world. In India alone, approximately 50 million hectares of crops are dependent on bee colonies, according to the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU). 150 million colonies are needed to meet this requirement. With no bees, agricultural yields will dwindle and the economy will take a major hit. And since we are the second-largest producer of horticultural crops and fruits in the world (as per the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare), the repercussions will be felt far and wide.
Conscious efforts are also being made, by the government, non-profits and entrepreneurs alike, to encourage modern beekeeping techniques and increase the production of organic honey in India. This method of natural beekeeping creates a sustainable supply system that benefits the producer, by taking into account the health of the bees as well as the consumers’, since it prevents problems that come with the chemical contamination of hive products — such as skin irritations and gastrointestinal disorders. The Uttarakhand-based Devbhumi Natural Products Producer Company, for example, produces the first-certified organic honey in India, along with natural dyes and silk products, and was founded by the