Disappearing bees worry farmers

Dec 21, 2016

Local honey from Tsendagang is so popular that beekeepers are finding it difficult to meet the demand.

Beekeepers of upper Gangzur say that because of the decrease in number of bees each year some beehives remain empty.

A 36-year-old Ashal Gurung from Gangzur, who started beekeeping in 2010, said that demand has always been challenging. “We produce purely organic honey with no preservatives. That’s probably why demand is huge.”

Dagapela Sibjam Tshogpa is a beekeepers group in Tsendagang. It has 15 members and the tshogpa produced more than 70 kilogrammes of honey last year.

A member of the tshogpa said that beekeepers go to places where there are bees with swarm bags, wearing protective costumes to collect the bees. “The number of bees has decreased drastically over the years.”

Chairman of the tshogpa, Sangay Sherpa, said that beekeeping is one of the main sources of income for many farmers.

Agriculture extension supervisor of Tsendagang, Rinzin Lhendup, said that in order to encourage beekeeping, beekeepers were provided with training and subsidies to make beehives.

“Farmers show interest in beekeeping but many are now disappointed with the number of bees decreasing each year,” he said, adding that the changing climate could be playing part.