Tag Archives: Keystone Foundation

Timeline 2012

9 Jan


Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu, India

Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu, India

The buzz began in Kotagiri with the able guidance of the Keystone foundation.

Cupid’s arrow struck me in the form of my first bee sting, and there was no looking back from there. I just knew what I wanted to do.

First meeting with Apis cerana introduced by Leo Robert

First meeting with Apis cerana introduced by Leo Robert

It was here that my interest in Indian honey bees came to life. During my time at the foundation I learnt the basic beekeeping practices and guidelines to follow.

My interaction with the Keystone foundation was crucial in developing my understanding of apiculture and best practices to follow whilst implementing the same.

Region of Araku valley

The scenic valley

After reading boatloads of documentation on honey bees we initiated our project in the emerald-green Araku Valley in A.P., with Naandi foundation. The Pollinator Project focuses on the domestication of the indigenous Asiatic honey bees Apis cerana.

The chief goal of the project is to train women farmers in various beekeeping methods and encourage other women to do the same.

July 2012 

10 First beneficiaries

The first 10 beneficiaries

5 villages from the area were selected to be a part of the Apiculture project. Each village has seen two horticulture farmers nominated.
10 farmers have been chosen for the job including 8 women. We distributed the first hive received from the good folks at the Keystone.

An happy beneficiary receiving her first hive

A happy beneficiary receiving her first hive

In addition to this we’re providing the selected apiculturists basic training and an understanding of how to go about beekeeping as efficiently as possible. We hope to see them imbibe the importance of honey bees in agriculture and embrace their role as pollinators.

August 2012

Training with one of our beekeeper

Training with one of our beekeepers

Only one of our new beekeepers was able to capture a colony and house them successfully in his hive. The others absconded, a common response for Indian bees.  The Indian monsoons are the worst season to capture a colony as the majority of the bees have migrated.

October 2012

Newton hive made by our local carpenter

Newton hive made by our local carpenter

A local carpenter has been trained to replicate the newton hive, the hive used by Indian bees.

November 2012

Sunshine returns, and along with it the honey bees make their way back! Hives are buzzing with activity. The beekeepers are in the process of completing their training.

We are teaching them how to extract wax from the old combs and make candles. Wax candles are a great source of light for them. They are cost-effective, natural and easy to make. In certain villages in the area (where electricity lines have not even been installed) even the light luminance of a candle can be of great use.

December 2012

First honey of Araku Region prepared by misses A.c

First honey of Araku Region prepared by misses A.c

The hives are being filled; the total stands at about 7 colonies now.

New beneficiaries are joining the activity of beekeeping. It’s encouraging to see the local women keenly seeking to learn about and practice apiculture.

Also our first hive had the super (honey portion) added to it, and in a matter of a couple weeks, it’s chock-full of honey.Our first harvest is just around the corner!

The Sun Hive

The Sun Hive

Saved the best for the last! The highlight of the month is the arrival of the first sun hive in India. The shape of the hive harmonizes with the movement patterns of the bee colony and enables the bees to design their brood nests according to their own innate criteria.