Remarkable Practices Of Honey Beekeeping In Meghalaya

Honey bees are, perhaps, one of the few insects that are found almost everywhere in the world. They have been around for 35 million years. In comparison, humans have inhabited the planet for only about 1.5 to 2 million years. Honey bees and humans are interconnected in many ways.

If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more animals, no more men. – Albert Einstein

Without bees, humankind is bound to become extinct, which is why we need to realize that we are partners in saving our planet.

Tit-bit About Bees - Gathered From Beekeepers of Meghalaya

It seems bees are very happy when there is enough rain because, with sufficient rainfall, more flowers and trees will grow and bloom. The surrounding environment will also be clean and healthy. According to the beliefs of the beekeepers, rainfall washes away all the diseases.

The beekeepers know that, with more flowers, there will be more bees to collect the nectar, and they will be able to collect honey twice or thrice a year. Bees are the wisest creature that nature has created because they can recognize the beekeepers who are healthy, smart, and with good nature, who maintain cleanliness. Or else, the bees will not stay for too long in their beehives.

Bees recognize beekeepers who steal others' honeycombs with bees in them. The bees that come with the honeycomb will not stay with the beekeeper because they know that it is not their real owner. "The message behind this is for us to maintain a clean and healthy environment. It also tells us that the place where bees live always has a healthy environment." Zizira explorer

Meet a Beekeeper of Meghalaya

During one of the field visits, Zizira explorers met Bah Lection Nongrum, a beekeeper who lives in Umdihar, Lumsohmylleng village, Ri-Bhoi district, Meghalaya. Something in him sparked an interest in the team, and they stayed to talk to him and find out more. Bah Lection started beekeeping in the year 2004, with just one beehive. Now, he has a total of 300, with 160 large and 140 smaller ones.

His passion for beekeeping has also inspired his other four sons to practice this art. The sons are now married and practice beekeeping in their respective villages - at Umkon, Mawtnum, Jintru, and Umdihar. They use the honey they collect for their own consumption and also sell in the market.

What Inspired Him to Start Beekeeping?

Interestingly, Bah Lection did not learn the art of beekeeping from his father or family, but from his eldest son! His son had a keen interest and passion for beekeeping and learned the art on his own. Bah Lection Nongrum was thrilled to see the passion in his son and got inspired to start too.

He started making beehives with the wood pieces he cut from his trees. Sometimes he would buy wood pieces from the sawmill and use those. To further improve his skills, he got an opportunity to work, train, and learn from the government group in Assam.

Variety of Honey He Harvests

Bah Lection harvests wildflower honey from beehives near the meadows. The bees collect pollen and nectar from the wildflowers in the surrounding areas. Annually, he harvests indigenous honey twice a year from the large beehives – once during the month of December and another between April and May. He also harvests natural honey once a year from the smaller beehives in December.

Bah Lection collects around 300 kgs of honey per year. Unfortunately, the supply in the 2017 season was not as good as it was in the previous years due to heavy rain and hailstorms, which spoiled all the wildflowers. The bees could not collect much pollen and nectar.

After harvesting, he takes the honey he collected to Lewduh, the wholesale market in Shillong. He sells either loose (i.e., by weight) or in bottles and has been doing it for years. His customers know how pure and delicious his honey is, and as soon as the news travels that he is selling his raw honey in the market, people would find him, and he would be sold out within minutes! He also sells his honey at Motphran and Police Bazar, two other popular markets in Shillong.

His natural and unprocessed honey is considered to be the best wildflower honey in India and is always sold out even if you are a few seconds late to the store. We at Zizira support bee harvesters like Bah Lection by procuring natural honey from them at above-market prices and then selling them online so that people from all around the world can enjoy the quality honey. For every bottle you buy of our raw honey online, a part of the profits goes to the harvesters. We support families such as Bah Lection, who not only sells honey but also works as a field laborer to earn money for his family. We also regularly visit their villages and offer them equipment, tools, and sources to help them procure honey in the most effective and safest manner. You, too, can enjoy the taste of natural honey by purchasing Wildflower Raw Honey Online from Zizira at the best price.

Want to Know More? Contact Us

I hope you enjoyed reading another of our stories on one of our honey suppliers. Team Zizira is always keen to explore Meghalaya's less known territories, looking for undiscovered produce to bring you natural, healthy products that you won't find anywhere else. Keep coming back for more interesting stories about our team, our suppliers, and our customers!

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