• World Bee Day is celebrated annually on 20th May.
  • Earlier, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) had launched the country’s first Mobile Honey Processing Van at Village in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The day marks the birth anniversary of Anton Janša, a pioneer of modern apiculture.
  • Anton Janša hailed from a family of beekeepers in Slovenia, where beekeeping is an important agricultural activity with a long-standing tradition.
  • Anton enrolled in the first bee-keeping school in Europe and worked full-time as a beekeeper.
  • His book ‘Discussion on Bee-keeping’ was also published in German.
  • Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems.
  • Bees are some of the most important pollinators, ensuring food and food security, sustainable agriculture, and biodiversity.
  • Bees significantly contribute to the mitigation of climate change and the conservation of the environment.
  • In the long-term, the protection of bees and the beekeeping sector can help reduce poverty and hunger, as well as preserve a healthy environment and biodiversity.
  • Beekeeping is also important in terms of sustainable agriculture and creating rural jobs.
  • By pollinating, they increase agricultural production, thus maintaining diversity and variety in the fields.
  • In addition, they provide millions of people with jobs and are an important source of farmers’ income.
  • As per Food and Agricultural Organization database, in 2017-18, India ranked eighth in the world in terms of honey production (64.9 thousand tonnes) while China stood first with a production level of 551 thousand tonnes.
  • Further, beekeeping can be an important contributor in achieving the 2022 target of doubling farmer incomes.

Status of the Apiculture in India

  • The globally apiculture market is estimated to register a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.3% during the period 2020–25, with Asia–Pacific as the dominant producer.
  • The Indian apiculture market size is expected to reach a value of Rs 33,128 million by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of nearly 12% by 2024.
  • India is the sixth major natural honey exporting country.
  • During 2019–20, the recorded export of natural honey was 59,536.75 MT for Rs 633.82 crore. The major export destinations were the USA, Saudi Arab, Canada, and Qatar.
  • The demand for organic honey in the international market could be leveraged for promoting organic beekeeping guidelines.
  • For propagating the sector, the landscape for beekeeping and the species could be expanded on a commercial scale. 

Highlights of Bee

  • There are almost 20,000 different species of bees in the world.
  • Bees live in colonies and in each colony, there are three types of bees, the queen bee, the worker bee, and the drone.
  • The worker and the queen bee both are females, but only the queen bee can reproduce. All drones are male.
  • The worker bees clean the hive, collect pollen and nectar to feed the colony and take care of the offspring. The drone only mates with the queen bee.
  • India is home to four of the seven known bee species.
  • Two of these are domesticated, Apiscerana (oriental honey bee) and Apismellifera (European honey bee), and the other two are wild, Apisdorsata (giant/rock honey bee) and Apisflorea (dwarf honey bee).


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