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Apiculture and Sericulture

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Knowing the Difference Apiculture and Sericulture

MVSAT 2024

We all know cultivation is a practice by which food is produced. All the crops are produced by the process of cultivation and crops are the source of food. But have you heard about apiculture or sericulture? These terms might be new to you, right?

In this article, we are going to learn about sericulture and apiculture, what is apiculture and sericulture, the difference between apiculture and sericulture and the study of sericulture and apiculture industry.


What is sericulture? Sericulture is a technique of rearing silk. In sericulture, silkworms are used to rear raw silk. It comes under associate agro-based trade.



In India, production of silk is in Assam, Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Kashmir and Karnataka.

Few varieties of silk obtained from silk worms are as follows:

  • Tasar Silkworm: The silkworm that feeds on oak. The silk obtained is termed tasar silk.

  • Mulberry Silkworm(Bombyx Mori): This feeds on mulberry and also the thread obtained is mulberry silk.

Similarly, there are varied forms of silk obtained from different worms.


What is apiculture? In scientific terminology, the term ‘apis’ is used for bees . Therefore, apiculture could be a method of rearing bees for honey and wax. It is a type of science for the preservation or maintenance of bee colonies. It's usually artificial stores (hives), by humans for the apiculture also we can call it beekeeping. A apiculturist gathers bees for their product and honey that the hive produces.

Process of Apiculture

The honeybee is a commercially very useful insect that is useful for all of us by secreting varied products like honey, honey wax, and jelly; all of these have vital medicative properties. The area where a large range of beehives are often placed is termed apiary.

In the apiary, the honeybees are the upkeep of and manage to produce wax, royal jelly, and honey. Apiaries typically provide areas also for the flowering plants. A standard apiculture strategy of beekeeping is a fixed comb hive, it's a hive within which the combs can't be detached or manipulated for harvesting without permanently damaging the comb. Top Bar hives are the modern strategy of apiculture that is being followed in Africa. This method keeps the bees in a less stressful condition.

Difference Between Apiculture and Sericulture



Apiculture is the method of rearing bees or maintenance of honey bee colonies or hives.

Sericulture is the method of raising silkworms.

Apiculture is completed with the assistance of honey bees.

Sericulture is completed with the assistance of silk moths.

Apiculture is practised for the assembly of honey, bee wax, royal jelly, bee venom and is additionally very much useful for crop pollination.

Sericulture is practised for the production of silk.

Egg⇢ larva ⇢Cell capped ⇢ Pupa Three stages:

Moriculture ⇢ Silkworm rearing ⇢ Silk reeling

Uses of Sericulture

Sericulture provides profitable employment, economic development and improvement within the quality of life to the folks in rural areas and thus it plays a vital role in anti-poverty programmes and prevents migration of rural folks to urban areas in search of employment.

Study of Sericulture and Apiculture Industry

In modern strategies of apiculture, it makes use of artificial bee hives. These beehives are a lot more convenient as compared to natural hives as they can be simply shifted and reused. Honey bees manufacture honey and wax that are very useful to man. They conjointly play a vital role in fertilisation of agricultural and horticulture fields.

In sericulture, silk fibre could be a protein made from silk glands of silkworm. Silk glands are modified salivary glands of larvae of caterpillars of the insect Bombyx mori. These caterpillars form a cocoon around them and these cocoons are hard-boiled in hot water, this method is termed stiffing and further the silk fibre is separated from the cocoons.

Interesting Facts

  • India is the only country in the world having all four types of silk.

  • In apiculture, during fertilisation, the queen bee lays about 2000 eggs per day.


Sericulture is an agro-based trade. The major activities of sericulture consists of food-plant cultivation to feed the silkworms that spin silk cocoons and reeling the cocoons for unwinding the silk filament for value-added advantages like processing and weaving. In apiculture the bees are bred commercially in apiaries, an area where loads of beehives can be placed. Usually, apiaries are set up in areas where there are sufficient bee pastures – like areas that have flowering plants.

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FAQs on Apiculture and Sericulture

1. What is horticulture ?

Horticulture is the branch of agriculture addressing crops, usually fruits, vegetables, and decorative plants. The word comes  from the Latin word “hortus” which means  “garden,” and colere, “to cultivate.” As a general term, it covers all styles of garden management, however in standard use it refers to intensive industrial production. In terms of scale, horticulture falls between domestic farming and field agriculture, although all types of cultivation naturally have close links. Horticulture is divided into the cultivation of plants for food  and plants for ornament.

2. Which species is most suitable for apiculture?

The most common species of bees suitable of beekeeping is Apis Indica. Some vital species of honey bees are : Apis dorsata (rock bee), Apis indica(Indian Mona bee), Apis florea(Bhringa bee), Apis mellifera (European bee). Apis indica lives across the entire country of India and is smaller in size compared to saarang bees. It yields 3 to four kilograms of honey per hive. While the rock bee or saarang bee is of largest size and produces the highest quantity of honey. It is aggressive and migratory specie.

3. What is the role of queen bee, drone bee and worker bees ?

The queen bee is 15-20 millimetres long and has ovaries full of eggs. Its sole operation is fertilisation and only 1 queen develops from impregnated eggs. One queen lays approx. 1500000 eggs in its whole life. Drone bees are the male bees. These are approx. 7-15 millimetres long. In these bees the  stings and secretion glands don't seem to be present. Like the queen they conjointly rely upon employee bees or worker bees for nutrition. Worker bees are maximum in a beehive. These are the tiniest bees. Worker bees are sterile females and are developed from impregnated eggs.

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