Uttarakhand's scientists use cow urine for improved apiculture

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Nainital (Uttarakhand), May 6 (ANI): Apiculturists in Uttarakhand are making use of cow urine to prevent bees from contacting microbial diseases during the rearing process.

Researchers at the Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar have taken to using cow urine extensively while breeding honeybees.

"This is proving to be a sure-shot treatment for the honeybee rearing. Also, when one can get four percent increase in profits by the use of cow urine, what else does anyone want? Honeybee helps in the production and from the last two years, their population had decreased. Despite using medicines and pesticides, there was no increase in their population. The honeybee keepers are now totally depending upon cow urine," said Ruchira Tiwari, a researcher at the Govind Vallabh Agricultural University.

In the course of rearing, bees are kept in fixed-frame boxes for better commercial extraction of honey, which makes them susceptible to microbial diseases during the process.

The medicines used for killing the microbes have had a bad effect on the production of larvae but cow urine does not have such side-effects.

"Medicines used to cost us a lot. The expenditure of medicines and other pesticides was very high. Cow urine is free and further, there is an increase in profit by three to four percent," said Puran Chandra Joshi, a beekeeper.

An average bee colony yields about 10-15 kilograms of honey, which is produced by 20,000 to 60,000 bees.

Bees being fast breeders lay as many as 800 to 3,000 eggs daily, which help breeders multiply their flock and yield without any expenditure. They also get beeswax as an additional by-product.

Honey has numerous uses such as medicine, food and an ingredient in various compounds. It is also an excellent medium for vitamins. (ANI)

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