The farmers are hoping that they will be able to recoup the losses by collecting honey this year
Farmers in Tangail are passing time now collecting nectar to adjust the loss caused by the flood in recent months in the district.
More than 1 lakh farmers of crops and vegetables in Tangail incurred a loss of Tk141 crore due to the prolonged and devastating floods. As many as 11 out of the 12 upazilas in the district were affected by the floods due to onrush water from the upstream and heavy rains in August, September, and October.
The farmers are hoping that they will be able to recoup the losses by collecting honey this year.
Sources at the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Tangail said mustard has been cultivated on 45,507 hectares of land this year while about 3,000 artificial honey boxes have been set up beside the lands. The DAE has targeted collecting 100 metric tons of honey from these boxes this year.
DAE sources said high yielding and indigenous varieties of mustard have been cultivated here this year. The mustard seeds were sowed during November last. It takes 70 to 90 days to harvest the yield.
A recent visit to Jogapara Village under Mogra Union in Kalihati upazila of the district found a farmer Kamrul Islam of Shyamnagar upazila in Satkhira district has set up 150 honey boxes beside mustard fields. He hopes to collect five to seven maunds of honey from the boxes.
Khorshed Alam Mridha from Sankipara village of Mymensingh district has set up 107 honey boxes in Gala village of Tangail Sadar upazila.
Abdur Rahman of the same district has set up 120 boxes beside the Dhaleswari Shamsul Haque Bridge in Nagarpur Upazila of Tangail.
He said about 15 to 20 honey collectors have come to Tangail from Satkhira. Besides, locals in Tangail are also collecting honey.
Aminul Islam of Santos Village in Tangail Sadar upazila has set up 80 boxes in Katuli Village of Jamuna Char. He hopes to sell per maund of honey at Tk 10,000 to 15,000 to different companies in Dhaka.
Saifur Reza has set up 37 boxes beside the mustard field of Khandaker Sohel in Delduar upazila of Tangail.
Khandaker Sohel said inbreeding among bees increases mustard production. He and other mustard cultivators of the area are encouraging honey collectors to set up more boxes.
Hailing from Bhaupur, Jhumur Ali said that he is able to collect 12 tons of honey from the 75 boxes he placed on his farm, and gets Tk300 for each kilo of honey. He further added that he will soon leave for Madaripur, Shariatpur, Gopalganj, and later Sundarbans as he and his workers keep on collecting honey from all over the country.
The district is famous for its mustard fields, a crucial place needed for bees to gather honey. Bees also help keep the fields' pest-free and play a vital role in flower pollination, resulting in the yields to be comparatively higher than other areas. Moreover, by keeping bees in boxes near the fields, honey can be gathered effortlessly.
Deputy Director of district DAE Ahsanul Basar said mustard production increases to 40% if honey boxes are set up beside the mustard fields.