Beekeepers from nearby areas are passing a busy time extracting honey at different mustard fields in Rajbari's Goalando upazila.
During a recent visit to different villages in the upazila, this correspondent saw a number of beekeepers from Rajbari and Kushtia set up about 380 bee colonies near mustard fields at different villages under Ujanchar and Daulatdia unions.
“I started the business about 11 years ago with only 20 bee colonies and now I have 200 bee colonies,” said Bellal Hossain, a honey farmer from Kushtia's Khoksa upazila.
“I have set up all my bee colonies near a mustard field in Tanapocha area under Daulatdia union and I get seven to eight maunds of honey every week,” Bellal said, adding that he sell the honey at Tk 11,000 to Tk 13,000 per maund to the wholesalers from Dhaka.
“I have to spend 50 percent of my earning to meet the expenditure during the extraction period and feeding the bees in the off-season,” Bellal added.
Another beekeeper Mukter Hossain, who set up 90 bee colonies in adjacent Edris Mia Para, said he got four maunds of honey from his 90 bee colonies in the last one month and sold the extracted honey at Tk 12,000 to Tk 13,000 per maund.
“I have set up 108 bee colonies in Annada Bazar area under Ujanchar union,” Ibrahim Sarder of Basantapur area in Rajbari Sadar upazila said, adding that due to favourable weather he is expecting a good honey collection this year.
Goalando Upazila Agriculture Officer Mohaymen Akter said about 655 hectares of land in the upazila have been brought under mustard cultivation this year.
Every year, many honey farmers from other parts of the country come to the upazila to collect honey using their bee colonies, he said, adding that he hoped that the honey farmers would have a good production this season.