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World Bee Day

  • 23 May 2022
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: World Bee Day, Beekeepers, Climate Change, Bee, FAO

For Mains: Doubling Farmers’ Income, Sweet Revolution, Promoting Apiculture

Why in News?

World Bee Day is celebrated annually on 20th May.

What do we Know about World Bee Day?

  • About:
    • The day marks the birth anniversary of Anton Janša, a pioneer of modern apiculture.
    • Anton Janša hailed from a family of beekeepers in Slovenia, where beekeeping is an important agricultural activity with a long-standing tradition.
      • Anton enrolled in the first bee-keeping school in Europe and worked full-time as a beekeeper.
        • His book 'Discussion on Bee-keeping' was also published in German.
  • Theme for 2022:
    • Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems.

What is the Significance of Beekeeping?

  • Most Important Pollinators:
    • Bees are some of the most important pollinators, ensuring food and food security, sustainable agriculture, and biodiversity.
  • Contribute to the Mitigation of Climate Change:
    • Bees significantly contribute to the mitigation of climate change and the conservation of the environment.
    • In the long-term, the protection of bees and the beekeeping sector can help reduce poverty and hunger, as well as preserve a healthy environment and biodiversity.
  • Sustainable Agriculture and Creating Rural Jobs:
    • Beekeeping is also important in terms of sustainable agriculture and creating rural jobs.
    • By pollinating, they increase agricultural production, thus maintaining diversity and variety in the fields.
    • In addition, they provide millions of people with jobs and are an important source of farmers' income.
  • Achieving India’s Target of Doubling Farmers Income:
    • As per Food and Agricultural Organization database, in 2017-18, India ranked eighth in the world in terms of honey production (64.9 thousand tonnes) while China stood first with a production level of 551 thousand tonnes.
    • Further, beekeeping can be an important contributor in achieving the 2022 target of doubling farmer incomes.

What is the Status of the Apiculture in India?

  • The globally apiculture market is estimated to register a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.3% during the period 2020–25, with Asia–Pacific as the dominant producer.
  • The Indian apiculture market size is expected to reach a value of Rs 33,128 million by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of nearly 12% by 2024.
  • India is the sixth major natural honey exporting country.
    • During 2019–20, the recorded export of natural honey was 59,536.75 MT for Rs 633.82 crore. The major export destinations were the USA, Saudi Arab, Canada, and Qatar.
    • The demand for organic honey in the international market could be leveraged for promoting organic beekeeping guidelines.
  • For propagating the sector, the landscape for beekeeping and the species could be expanded on a commercial scale.

What are Related Initiatives?

  • ‘Sweet Revolution’:
    • It is an ambitious initiative of the Government of India for promoting apiculture, popularly known as 'beekeeping'.
    • To provide a booster shot to Sweet Revolution, the government launched the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission in 2020 (under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare).
      • National Beekeeping and Honey Mission aims to establish 5 big regional and 100 small honey and other Bee Products testing laboratories.
      • Out of the total target, 3 world class state-of-the-art laboratories have been setup, whereas 25 small laboratories are in the process of being set up.
  • Assistance for Setting up of Processing Units:
    • India is also providing assistance to the beekeepers for setting up of Processing Units.
    • More than 1.25 lakh metric tonnes of honey is being produced in the country, out of which more than 60 thousand metric tonnes of natural honey is exported.
  • Adopting Scientific Techniques:
    • In order to bring qualitative upgradation of domestic honey to attract the world market, the Government of India and the State Governments are making concerted efforts and focusing on capacity building of beekeepers for production of honey by adopting scientific techniques.

What are the Highlights of Bee?

  • There are almost 20,000 different species of bees in the world.
  • Bees live in colonies and in each colony, there are three types of bees, the queen bee, the worker bee, and the drone.
    • The worker and the queen bee both are females, but only the queen bee can reproduce. All drones are male.
  • The worker bees clean the hive, collect pollen and nectar to feed the colony and take care of the offspring. The drone only mates with the queen bee.
  • India is home to four of the seven known bee species.
    • Two of these are domesticated, Apis cerana (oriental honey bee) and Apis mellifera (European honey bee), and the other two are wild, Apis dorsata (giant/rock honey bee) and Apis florea (dwarf honey bee).

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions

Q. Consider the following kinds of organisms: (2012)

  1. Bat
  2. Bee
  3. Bird

Which of the above is/are pollinating agent/agents?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (d)


  • Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male part of a plant to the female part of a plant, thus, enabling fertilisation and production of seeds, most often by an animal or by wind.
  • Pollinating agents are animals such as insects, birds, bees and bats; water; wind; and even plants themselves, when self-pollination occurs within a closed flower. Hence, 1, 2 and 3 are correct.
  • Pollination often occurs within a species. When pollination occurs between species, it can produce hybrid offsprings in nature and in plant breeding.

Source: PIB

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