Honey harvesting season begins in Sundarbans with renewed vigilance and conservation efforts

Apiarists seeking to harvest honey from the dense forests were granted permits following comprehensive training.

UNB

Apr 2 2024 8:44 AM

Honey harvesting season begins in Sundarbans with renewed vigilance and conservation efforts

The two-month honey harvesting season in the Sundarbans, spanning from 1 April to 31 May, kicked off on Monday with an official ceremony in the Satkhira range of the western Sundarbans.

The event, which took place at the Burigoalini Government Primary School in Shyamnagar upazila, Satkhira, was inaugurated by local lawmaker SM Atual Haque Dolan.

Highlighting a commitment to both livelihood and conservation, the ceremony witnessed the surrender of 24 deer hunters, led by Anarul Islam, who vowed to transition to a lawful lifestyle. Additionally, the event addressed the plight of five women widowed by tiger attacks in the Sundarbans, providing them with essential food supplies and financial support.

Apiarists seeking to harvest honey from the dense forests were granted permits following comprehensive training. These permits, issued adjacent to the Burigoalini Forest Office, empower trained harvesters to venture into the forest while adhering to safety and conservation guidelines.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of the Sundarbans West Division, Dr. Abu Naser Mohsin Hossain, announced enhanced patrolling measures to ensure the safe and sustainable collection of honey.

He emphasized the importance of adhering to nine specific directives aimed at preserving the ecosystem, including prohibitions on the use of fire, flammable substances, and chemicals for bee driving, with the caveat that permit violations would result in cancellation.

This year's harvesting target is set at 2,500 quintals of honey and 750 quintals of wax, predominantly from the Satkhira range, a noted hotspot for honey in the Sundarbans.

Reflecting on the significance of the honey harvesting season, data from the Forest Department reveals a consistent contribution to the economy, with notable revenues generated from honey and wax sales in recent years. The 2021 season saw 1,012 permits issued, resulting in the collection of 3,376.90 tonnes of honey and 113.09 tonnes of wax, generating substantial revenue. The success continued in 2022, with even higher revenue figures and the collection of 2,320 quintals of honey and 696 quintals of wax.

As the season unfolds this year, the Sundarbans honey harvesting initiative represents a delicate balance between the economic needs of the local communities and the imperative to protect one of the world's most vital ecosystems.

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