Widespread use of pesticides in Punjab kills bees in large numbers – The New Indian Express

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: Punjab, the country’s third largest honey producer, is witnessing the death of bees in large numbers due to the spraying of pesticides on cotton, pearl millet (Bajra), paddy rice and summer moon crops.

In Punjab and Haryana, at least 50 percent of bees have died before the approaching season, leaving farmers staring at losses.

To talk with The new Indian ExpressProgressive Bee Keepers Association advisor Narpinder Singh Dhaliwal who is also a leading beekeeper in Moga said there are 4,000 beekeepers in Punjab with each keeper having between 300 and 400 colonies (boxes) and each colony having 20,000 bees that at least 60 lakh bees per beekeeper.

“Since the bees have died this time due to the large-scale spraying of pesticides in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, the bee death rate is between 25 and 90 percent per beekeeper depending on his situation, so on average it is 50 percent. the bee mortality rate is between 10 and 15 percent each year.Besides Punjab and Haryana, this time bee death rate in Kota, Alwar and other districts of Rajasthan remains high after spraying pesticides on bajra crops, nectar from sunflowers and pollen from paddy and bajra According to National Bee Board data, Punjab produces 18,600 tons of honey every year and ranks third in the country below Uttar Pradesh, which produces about 25,000 tons, and West Bengal 20,000 tons,” he says.

“We know that bees in the US and Europe die as a result of the use of pesticides. Sometimes pesticides are directly toxic to the bees, in other cases they can actually reduce their immunity to disease so that they are adversely affected. So as bees die, rest assured there is a broader impact on other beneficial insects or other animals,” said Mark Davis, director of Agriculture and Regulatory Outreach at the Center for Pesticide and Suicide Prevention at the University of Edinburgh in the UK.

While experts from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), suspect that bee deaths were caused by the use of insecticides and pesticides in the summer moon and paddy bee flora in both Punjab and Haryana and in sunflowers in Haryana and pearl millet (bajra) in Rajasthan, as pesticides were used on kharif crops after plagues caused by exceptional temperature rises this summer.

Balraj Singh, project coordinator of the All India Coordinated Research Project on Honey Bees and Pollinators, which works under the ICAR, said: “This time, several kharif crops were infested with pests. As in Bajra, two major insects are seed-eating, hoopers and ball worms. infected the crop on a large scale so the farmers in Haryana and Rajasthan resorted to spraying pesticides to stop the inconspicuous pest attack on their crops so bee death rate is high this time as was the case in Punjab with kharif- Beekeepers and farmers need to work together so that both can benefit. Because farmers depend on pesticides to save crops and beekeepers need to plan hive migration accordingly,” But Singh says the bee mortality rate is not that high as the beekeepers claim.

Progressive Bee Keepers Association president Jatinder Sohi said the high humidity damaged crops causing spraying and resulting in bee mortality which was exceptionally high this time around.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: