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This World Bee Day, here are some initiatives for conserving bees

Saving the world one bee at a time is 33-year-old Amit Godse. A resident of Pune, Amit heads a company called Bee Basket that relocates beehives from buildings and offices to safer and isolated places. “Bees play an important role in the ecosystem. Over 70 % of plant pollination happens due to bees, and yet here we are trying our best to burn down beehives,” he laments.

Amit Godse, founder of Bee Basket relocating a beehive

Amit Godse, founder of Bee Basket relocating a beehive   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

It was watching a beehive being burnt at the housing society he lived in, that triggered Amit’s quest for more humane ways of dealing with bees. “The pest control team smoked the hive, and killed all the bees,” he recalls. So he began to read, travel and research about bees till he had enough confidence to quit his job and start Bee Basket. Today, with a team of six members, Bee Basket has relocated over 800 beehives in Pune and Mumbai. “The relocation is done mostly in the evenings when the bees return to the hive. We sprinkle water on the hive so that bees do not fly away and then pack the hive in a carton,” he says. The hive is then taken away, and tied to branches of trees away from the reach of people. Amit is now planning to spread his operation to Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, and train the tribals there so that beekeeping can be sustained.

For the past several years, his quest for bee conservation has taken Amit to remote areas near Palgadh, Chandgad and Kolhapur in Maharashtra. “I’ve conducted awareness programmes with the tribals and farmers, and helped them understand the importance of bees. Beekeeping is financially beneficial as organic honey and bee wax are always in demand,” he says, adding, “Bees are essential for people who nurture terrace gardens too, as they increase pollination, which in turn improves the yield.”

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