Amit Godse - The Buzz About The Bee Man
If you thought that bees are a hazard because they can sting, then speak to Pune’s '#Bee Man' – Amit Godse, who has a diametrically opposite explanation for this. “#Bees are very important and 73% of pollination around the world is done by them,” quips this software-turned-bee conservationist. “1/3rd of what we eat comes from the #bees.”
#Bees at risk: With a decline in bee population due to pesticides, anti-environment agricultural practices and incessant pest control, our food chain is under serious threat. While we only think of painful stings and honey when we look at bees, we forget that without bees we won’t have food on our table.
“When I was in Pune for a holiday, I saw the residents of my colony get a bee hive destroyed via pest control,” narrates Amit, adding that this not only saddened him but also nudged him to do something about it. “People want #honey, but not bees.”
Having grown up in the lap of nature, Amit has always had an affinity to the environment and this incident marked a turning point for him. “I quit my lucrative job in Mumbai and traveled to an organic farm in Jalgaon to learn bee keeping.” He also stayed with tribals in Gujarat and observed how they harvested honey from hives.
“I developed my own techniques to harvest as well as relocate bee #hives in urban areas,” he says. This was the beginning of the BeeBasket.in, a one stop shop for bee products, hive relocation and honey harvesting.
Photo credit: Ashok Damle
Amit firmly believes that people destroy hives “because of ignorance and fear” and these can be relocated with the help of a honey bee specialist. “Currently, I offer bee hive relocation services in Pune, Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra.”
Bee keeping know-how: Amit is also trying hard to spread the knowledge about bee keeping and conservation through workshops in schools, companies and housing societies.
He also encourages people to give urban bee keeping a shot. “There are three types of bees found in India – Apis dorsata (Rock bee), Apis cerana indica (Indian box bee) and Apis florae (Dwarf bee),” he explains. “The Box bees and European honey bees can be domesticated in boxes in urban areas, in bungalows and housing societies.”
Word about Amit’s bee conservation work is spreading across the country, with the State Governments of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra approaching him to help them save the bee population in their states.
Challenges: The work Amit does to save bees hasn’t been without challenges. “When we’re talking about relocating a bee hive, funds and finding the right kind of place for the hive are the main challenges.” Amit charges a pocket-friendly amount of Rs 1000-1,500 (depending on the size of the hive) for relocating a bee hive, but often societies or individuals prefer to pay Rs 400 to pest control people to get rid of the hive.
Amit has also been trying to make his social enterprise sustainable by selling the honey that he sources from the hive he relocates and offering training programs.
Team: Amit’s tireless efforts in spreading the word about bee conservation is complimented by his team members, Priya Phulambrikar and Tushar Sarode. Priya handles the content for the website, while Tushar makes eco documentaries and looks after their social media.
If you’d like to get a bee hive relocated or would like to learn about bee conservation, you can get in touch with Amit Godse at +918308300008. Visit their website at www.beebasket.in.