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Last updated date: 22nd Nov 2023
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MVSAT Dec 2023

An Italian bee variety. A.mellifera has been introduced in India for honey production. Write about its merits over other varieties?

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Hint: Animal husbandry is the agricultural practices of feeding, breeding, and raising animal livestock whose primary purpose is to provide meat and milk. Beekeeping or apiculture is a source of honey.

Step by step answer:
In India, local varieties as well as exotic varieties are used for commercial production of honey. The local varieties are Apis cerana indica (Indian bee), A.dorsata (ock bee), and A.florae (little bee). The exotic varieties are Apis mellifera (an Italian variety ) and A.adamsoni.
At present the Italian variety Apis mellifera is used in apiaries for large-scale production of honey and wax and it stays in the beehive for a long period.

Additional information:
Bee-keeping is an important enterprise of agriculture concerned with the maintenance of hives of honeybees for the commercial production of honey and wax. Bee-keeping is a low investment, less problematic, and highly profitable cottage industry. Honey is a sweet edible fluid of high nutritive value.
It contains sugar, water, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and pollen. It has great importance for its medicinal value. It is useful in the treatment of various disorders related to digestion, dysentery, vomiting, and stomach and liver ailments.
The bee wax obtained from the hives of honeybees is used in many industries for the preparation of cosmetics and polishes. Bee farms or apiaries are established in any area where an abundance of wild shrubs, fruit orchards, and cultivated crops is available in a 1 to 2 km radius.

Note: Successful bee-keeping requires the following tips:
-knowledge of the nature and habits of bees.
-select a suitable location for keeping the beehives.
-the apiaries are established in locations where there are sufficient bee pastures.
-knowledge of catching and hiving of swarms(a group of bees).