Pantnagar, July 9 : Scientists in Uttarakhand are making use of cow urine to save bees from contacting microbial diseases during the rearing process.
Researchers at the Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar city in the State have explored the goodness of the cow urine and are using it extensively while breeding honeybees.
Ruchira Tiwari, a researcher at the institute who has done three years of research on the subject said, "We have used cow urine and with that we have seen that within seven-eight days, the breed becomes healthy. We have seen this through our research. The workers (sexually immature females) work as cleaners and queen bees lay eggs."
"After the urine is sprayed on them, the workers start working more efficiently and then take out unhealthy larva from the eggshells. The queen bee then lays eggs in the shells and then we again spray the urine on the eggs. This way the eggs remain healthy," she added.
While rearing, the bees are kept in wooden boxes with frames. They are susceptible to microbial diseases during the process.
The medicines used for killing the microbes have had a bad affect on the production of larvae but cow urine surpasses such effects.
"With the use of urine the production of larvae from eggs has increased but if medicines are used, there is a decline in the production of the eggs. By using sugar with teramixine (Terramicina) the bees begin fighting among themselves. But this method does no harm to the process of rearing, it only has advantages," said Gurband, a labourer.
An average bee colony yields about ten to15 kilograms of honey produced by the 20,000 to 60,000 bees working to create the sweet nectar.
Bees being fast breeders, lay as many as 800 to 3000 eggs daily, which help breeders to multiply their flock and yield without any expenditure. They also get pure wax as an additional by-product.
Bees are female dominated. Only one queen-bee, which has a life span of three years, can live in a beehive. The drones or the male bees die soon after mating and the female starts laying eggs after the third day.
Honey has is used as medicine, food or as an ingredient in various food recipes. It is also an excellent medium for vitamins and contains almost all vitamins necessary for health. By Vipul Goel