Many beekeepers in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in district Ramban today are alleging that their business is negatively affected as the farmers’ have begun spraying pesticides in Rajasthan.
A group of beekeepers alleged that as a result of use of pesticides, thousands of bees have died causing damage to thousands of colonies. In the Jammu division, Ramban district has the highest honey production. Hundreds of people in Jammu and Kashmir depend on the honey bee business for their livelihood.
The J&K administration and apiculture department keep on neglecting beekeepers of the Jammu division. As the winter season started, hundreds of beekeepers from Ramban, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Baramulla and Budgam districts migrated with their beehives to Punjab and Rajasthan to save them from harsh winter.
Beekeepers have lost lakhs of rupees as this year, in almost all the parts of Rajasthan, local landlords have sprayed pesticides on coriander and mustard crops. Beekeepers claim that many bees have died and thousands of bee colonies have been affected due to poisoning.
Farooq Ahmad Wani, president of the Beekeepers Association Jammu division, told Greater Kashmir from Kota, Rajasthan, that use of pesticides in large quantities on crops has caused damage to thousands of bee colonies in Rajasthan. He added that many people who were involved in beekeeping have to manage heavy losses in their business because of pesticides sprayed on crops.
Wani expressed his apprehensions that if pesticides’ use kept on increasing at the present rate, then it will eradicate the existence of honey bees from the world.
He also said that the J&K administration and apiculture department neglect honey beekeeping as the bee business is still not being categorised in the livestock category yet. As a result, they don’t get benefits of crop loan and crop insurance and this unsympathetic attitude of the government causes huge losses to beekeepers every year.