The hill district sees successful commercial beekeeping, dispelling the wrong idea that it is possible only in areas with mustard fields.
Around twenty people are now engaged in the beekeeping in or around their fruit orchards and the production level is quite satisfactory, said sources of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).
"After retirement from my teaching job three years ago, I started beekeeping in my mango orchard at the backyard of my house. I bought a hive box for Tk 2,000 and collected a queen bee from the nearby jungle. Now I have 13 hive boxes," said Debal Moni Chakma, a resident of Panchari of Khagrachhari district.
Honey production in the area is higher during the spring and summer, he said.
Sudipta Chakma of Khabangpuria of the district town said he started beekeeping after taking training from a non-governmental organisation two years ago and now he has 25 hive boxes at his back yard and relatives' houses.
"Bees rarely suffer from diseases and a good production of honey can be drawn with a little effort. This year, I sold honey at Tk 900-1000 per kg and earned about Tk 1.5 lakh. Seeing the profit, many others are getting interested in beekeeping," he said.
"After knowing that beekeeping is possible in areas with fruits plantations I procured a hive box with a queen bee for Tk 4,000 and started beekeeping. Now I have nine hive boxes," said Kochi Sona Chakma of Khabangpujya area.
"Honey production is good this season due to the higher mango and litchi blossom. I am collecting three to four kg of honey every week from each hive box," she added.
Tarun Bhattacharya, deputy director of Khagrachhari DAE, said, "The farmers engaged in beekeeping in or around their fruit orchards are making good profits.
With proper training, they can do even better. Besides, the bees will help increase crop production by pollinating."