Apiculture (beekeeping) in Bhutan existed since time immemorial. Initially, the modern beekeeping was implemented in the southern Dzongkhags where farmers had good knowledge of traditional practices. With the introduction and adoption of the modern hive, apiculture has become one of the viable options to utilize the local natural resources for the benefits of farming communities. Of late, modern apiculture is gaining momentum as one of the potential income-generating avenues, especially for farming communities in the country. Rearing of local honeybees in improved hives was initiated by the erstwhile Renewable Natural Resources Research Centre in 2006.
Bhutan is endowed with a rich diversity of honeybee species and bee resources, which remained largely untapped for socio-economic benefits and recognizing the importance of the apiculture program in Bhutan, it is now mainstreamed in the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP). To optimize sustainable utilization of these resources, it is imperative to draw pragmatic approaches to accelerate improved apiculture practices in the country.
However, the apiculture developmental interventions are faced with some challenges that impede the intensification of the program in terms of lack of required resources, essential inputs, vital facilities, financial support, knowledge and skills which are some of the critical prerequisites for successful implementation of the program.
To facilitate the smooth implementation, a need for the National Strategy and Action Plan on Apiculture was felt necessary. In this regard, the National Highland Research and Development Centre (NHRDC), Bumthang which is mandated to implement the National Apiculture Program in Bhutan, came up with the National Strategy and Action Plan on Apiculture through a series of consultative meeting with key stakeholders within the Department namely, NDRDC, Yusipang and RLDCs (Wangdue & Tsimasham). Thus, this document aims to address some of the above impending issues through strategic interventions of the key action areas and provide a pragmatic approach to optimize the sustainable utilization of rich diversity of honeybee resources for greater socio-economic benefits of Bhutanese people.
The Department of Livestock is pleased to release the National Apiculture Strategy and Action Plan document for the furtherance of apiculture development in the country. The document highlights the important issues and key action areas while considering the mandate of the Department to guide all the key stakeholders for better planning and execution of apiculture activities.