Mangesh Gangurde from Peth, Nashik, is an unconventional beekeeper. Employed full-time as a teacher in a local school, he assists his family in cultivating mango, cashew, sunflower, seasonal vegetables and rice on their 3.5 acre farmland in his free time. Keeping bees has become his third livelihood!
http://utmt.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/38-1.jpg 715 800 Harriet Dcosta http://utmt.in/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/logo.png Harriet Dcosta2016-01-10 03:46:462017-01-25 12:41:45UTMT Master Trainer from Nashik
Mangesh underwent UTMT’s beekeeping training in 2012, as part of a Modi Trust supported project. He had earlier heard of his neighbours keeping bees, and felt inclined to try it for himself. Mangesh has not looked back since. Three years and 10 beeboxes later, he is much respected in the community for his beekeeping initiative.
Thanks to his teaching background, Mangesh knew about the pollination value of bees before he saw his farm yields increase. He says his sunflowers are bigger in size and more in number after the beeboxes came, with a 30% increase in production since 2012. Encouraged, he cultivates more sunflower than before.
With one of his beeboxes. The elaborate, sturdy shade protects the box from strong monsoon winds and rain, while the water moat at the base of the stand is essential to keep ants at bay.
Helping UTMT staff check a farmer’s beebox health. Mangesh is an important local resource person for UTMT, providing valuable inputs for mobilizing farmers, identifying flora and searching for bee colonies.
He has become a staunch ambassador for bees, convincing sceptical farmers about the bountiful agricultural impacts of beekeeping. Using his teaching skills, he has prepared a booklet and charts on the benefits of bees, and installed the charts near his beeboxes. His success has drawn many curious visitors to his farm – fellow school teachers, an Agriculture Department officer, staff of an NGO.
At a demonstration teaching how to transfer bees from the wild into a beebox. Mangesh often accompanies UTMT staff on new farmer trainings, pitching in with his experience.
What makes Mangesh’ story stand out is his children’s interest in bees! Having seen their father handle the insects, they are just as fearless, much to the surprise of visitors. You can see this in the picture where his 3-year old daughter happily holds a beebox frame.