Krishma Nanda, Ajay, Sunidhi Pilania, Monika
Department of Forestry, COA, CCSHAU, Hisar, Haryana
Department of Entomology, COA, CCSHAU, Hisar, Haryana

Honey is a vital component of human nutrition. It has been utilized for a number of applications from ancient times.Apiculture or beekeeping is the care and management of honey bees for the production of honey, waxand other honey related products.Honey bees are found associated with forests globally. Forests and beekeeping both have a lengthy history, but they've rarely been combined. Perhaps the significance of bees in tree pollination and trees in bee foraging and protection has also been overlooked. Trees planted specifically for bee forage or hive protection, as in agroforestry systems, could be planned to benefit bee foraging or hive protection. Apiculture with trees is an agroforestry system in which a variety of honey (nectar) producing tree species that are frequently visited by honeybees are planted alongside an agricultural crop on the boundary. Honey bees feed on the flowers of forest trees and the trees provide physical refuge for a swarm or bee colony. The primary goal of this system is to produce honey. For a variety of reasons, tree-growing and beekeeping can readily be integrated. Bee colonies take up very little space and bees may forage within a radius of 4 to 5 kilometer. Hives may be found within or near a tree plantation, and they forage from both the trees and the surrounding blooming plants. Apiaries are typically established in regions with sufficient bee pastures, such as areas with flowering plants. Combining agroforestry and beekeeping produces annual honey bee products to supplement income of farmers. It is an excellent way to generate additional economic benefits specially for the small and marginal farmers. Despite anecdotal and empirical evidence of a mutually beneficial relationship between forest trees and bees, less beekeeping has been done in conjunction with agroforestry due to a lack of awareness and the long pre-flowering period of a tree, the complexities of site and weather influences on flowering, nectar and pollen production, and partly due to methodological difficulties. When initiating a tree plantation, it's important to leave enough space between trees for foraging bees as well as the trees themselves. Fewer flowers per tree will develop and be available to the bees if the trees are close together and their canopies overlap heavily. Place bee hives in a windbreak of flowering trees around the perimeter as an agroforestry option. Trees planted with a annual crop that flowers heavily may provide the dual advantages of forage. In addition to providing wind protection, shade cast in the summertime by shelter-belts or windbreaks cools bee hives. Shading hives with tall deciduous trees placed just to the south or southwest of the hives allows bees to use their energy for honey production and other necessary hive maintenance activities, rather than for cooling.

There is vast potential for beekeeping in the country. However, beekeepers do not perform scientific beekeeping due to a lack of expertise. In order to develop scientific understanding on the subject, beekeepers must attend training and other capacity-building programme on the subject. The fundamental factors to beekeeping success are the selection of a good apiary site, good quality bees and effective management i.e, to control swarming, division of colonies, uniting of colonies, mass queen rearing, stopping laying workers, robbing, desertion, migration, disease, pest, and enemy management etc.

The following advisories should be kept in mind for effective and beneficial beekeeping:

1. Selection of good apiary site

2. Selection of good quality bees

3. Management of apiary

A. Placement of colonies in apiary

B. Inspection of colonies

C. Provision of fresh water in the apiary

D. Dearth period management

E. Care during honey extraction

F. Care during migration

G. Seasonal management of apiary

H. Protecting colonies from pesticides

Year-wise honey production for last 5 years

Sr. No.


Production in Metric Tonns (MTs)
















* Data obtained from National Bee Board

Honeybees are completely reliant on flowering plants for their nourishment. Both nectar and pollen must be available in sufficient quantities for effective beekeeping. Beekeepers can use apiphilic trees with good NP status to manage bees and honey production throughout the year. For beekeeping to succeed, there must be a constant supply of apiphilic flowers with plenty of nectar and pollen. Plantation of trees like Eucalyptus spp., Dalbergia sissoo, Moringa oleifera, Acacia nilotica, Leucaena leucocephala, Deris indica, Tamarindus indica, Peltophorum pterocarpum, Azadirachta indica, Anthocephalus cadamba, Syzygium cumini , Cocos nucifera, Borassus flabellifer, Acacia auriculiformis, and Sapindus laurifolius, Albizialebbeck, Cassia fistula, Citrus species, Gliricidia sepium, Gmelina arborea, Grevillea robusta, Mangifera indica, Melia azedarach, Morus alba, Prosopis speciesandPsidium guajavaetc. gives honey bees and honey producers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to improve nectar and pollen sources.

Honey bees are excellent pollinators of flowering plants and the flowers of many commercially valuable forest tree species provide enough of nectar and pollen for bees to feed on, especially when other foraging alternatives are scarce. Apiculture and agroforestry work together to supply honey bees with nutrition and safety while also ensuring thorough pollination of tree blossoms and a robust seed crop for forest regeneration. These are primarily aimed at giving people in underdeveloped countries with extra income and resource possibilities.

Flowering in trees differs from place to place, following are the general flowering period of different tree species:

Tree name

Flowering period

Tree name

Flowering period

Ailanthus excelsa


Azadirachta indica


Dalbergia sissoo


Gmelina arborea


Tectona grandis


Cassia siamea


Moringa oleifera


Melia dubia


Albizia lebbek


Bombax ceiba


Eucalyptus sp.


Morus alba


Bauhinia sp.


Melia azedirach


Pongamia pinata


Zizyphus sp.

October, Feb-March

The majority of people associate beekeeping with honey production, there are many other bee-related products that can be just as profitable, if not more so, than honey. Natural bee pollen, raw propolis, fresh royal jelly, bee wax, and bee venom are all essential items that fetch a high market price in many parts of the world. Honey and bee products can also be used in soaps and cosmetics.Honey bees produce a range of items, including honey, that can be utilized to supplement one's income. Beekeeping produces a variety of high-value products that can boost a farmer's income by 40-60%. It's also a low-impact job that can help local people make more money from protected regions and native forests.

*There are about 9698 Entities registered and 1559771 Bee colonies as per the National Bee Board data up to 31st December, 2019. Uttar pradesh, Punjab and Haryana are the leading states in terms of colony numbers i.e, 424242, 271135 and 204748 respectively.