Thu, 19 Sep, 2019

Prasari Honey Bees: Maharashtra’s first beekeeping company

Engaged training farmers and tribal in scientific ways of beekeeping for crop pollination and honey production, Prashant Sawant and Sarika Saswade, directors at Prasari Honey Bees Pvt Ltd have taken upon themselves the responsibility to educate people to respect honey bees and to produce honey while retaining combs

27th May 2019, 03:34 Hrs

BHARATI PAWASKAR  


It’s the first Honey Beekeeping Company of Maharashtra selling 19 types of natural honey ‘Prasari Honey’ founded by Prashant Sawant who will be present at the IndiGenius Fest at Saraya Sangolda in Goa from May 31 to June 2 for offering training sessions to enthusiastic persons in Goa. “I am expecting Goan farmers, honey beekeepers, marketing federations and co-operative societies like Goa Sahakari Bhandar and Goa Bagayatdar to attend our workshops and demonstrations,” says Prashant who is into honey beekeeping awareness for a long time.  

For common man honey is honey, but there can be many varieties of honey, each having a specific property and medicinal value. There are 45,000 species of honey bees on this planet and India has five of them. Prasari Honey has as many as 19 varieties, all of medicinal value and priced between Rs 800 a kilo to Rs 5,500 a kilo. Last year the company launched ‘Honey Please’, a brand that is reasonably priced at Rs 560 a kilo. This honey can be used for multipurpose. Their main brand Amrut Yog is totally medicinal and is in the market for 15 years.  

Some of the medicinal honey brands that Prashant has are Dhania Honey, Lichi Honey, Whity Honey, Hirda Honey, Jamun Honey, Beheda Honey, Palash Honey, Mustard Honey, Eucalyptus Honey, Gela Honey, Pisa Honey, Cotton Honey etc. Each of these has a typical medicinal property. “Apart from weight loss or weight gain, honey can be used for avoiding bypass, curing infertility, arthritis, osteoporosis and many such illnesses without having any side effect,” claims Prashant who has a dedicated research team of 35 professional doctors. 

Prashant, the founder of Parsari Honey is certified as a ‘Kendra chalak’ by Khadi and Village Industry Board of Maharashtra. Specialised in Dorsata bees (Rock bees / Aagya madhmasha), a species of honey-bee found only in Asia, Prashant takes workshops to spread awareness regarding this species. There are five types of honey bees found in India.  

Prashant maintains that he and his business partner Sarika Saswade, a MSW and a journalist by profession, are keen to spread awareness among farmers and general public, that honey bees are an important part of our ecology and if there are no honey bees on the planet, it would take only four years to end the mankind. Sarika, director at Prasari Honey Bees Pvt Ltd  

Prasari Honey has 4000 colonies of honey bee boxes, each having 40,000 bees which are given to farmers from Central India to Northern India to produce honey. In a year around 16 ton honey gets collected which is sold from their outlet in Pune which also has chocolates and modaks made of honey.  

It is not a business for Prashant and Sarika, but a mission. The duo have taken up this mission of offering training to youth, women and farmers with scientific and modern technique and also organize pollination drives at farm lands across India. Honey bees are said to be the real farmers, gifted to mankind by Mother Nature.  

Having spent two decades in the awareness of beekeeping and environment conservation, Prashant has initiated the first honey beekeeping company in Maharashtra, Prasari Honey Bees Pvt Ltd which has not kept its services limited to Maharashtra but is serving the farmers, forest tribes, youth and women across India.  

“Our thrust is on promoting scientific beekeeping in the country in view of the crucial and vital role of beekeeping in increasing crop productivity and enhancing farmers’ income,” expresses Prashant. In this context his company has initiated various measures under ‘Mission Pollination’ to promote beekeeping. The honey thus produced is organic, pure and natural. He also publishes ‘Madhu Sandesh’ a trimester magazine on honey bees. It was last year that he did a ‘Madhamashanchi Vaari’ (a walk with the honey bees) from Alandi to Pandharpur, carrying honey bees on a truck and educating 5000 farmers on the way in honey bee keeping. Taking note of this feat, the Discovery Channel will be accompanying Prashant in this years ‘Vaari’. He also runs a call centre, the first of its kind in the world. This call centre entertains calls from people regarding the honey bee hives in their area. “Our volunteers visit the places and relocate the hives in the jungles, without destroying them,” says Prashant.  

Mission Pollination includes capacity building programmes for farmers, forest tribes, beekeepers, distribution of bee colonies, bee hives and equipment for adoption of scientific beekeeping, development of bee breeders. The organization has a strong background of working along with government agencies namely National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Central Bee Research and Training Institute (CBRTI), Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB), National Bee Board (NBB), Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) etc. Its outreach is in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Orissa, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. “Our core methodology is of collection of honey from trend tribes without harming and or killing honey bees,” assures Prashant.  

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