New Delhi: In a unique experiment, Border Security Force (BSF) has installed beehives along the Indo-Bangladesh border fence in West Bengal to enhance security and assist the local community through apiculture.
This innovative initiative serves multiple purposes, including preventing hedge cutting for illegal activities such as cattle smuggling, as well as creating employment opportunities for the local population.
The 32nd battalion of the BSF launched the unique initiative on November 2 in the border areas of Nadia district. The main objectives are to enhance border security and assist the local community through apiculture.
The India-Bangladesh border stretches for 4,096 km, with West Bengal accounting for approximately 2,217 km of it. The BSF has enlisted the help of the Ayush Ministry for their project, which involves placing beehives on to the alloy-made “smart fence.” The Ministry has provided the border-guarding force with the beehives and the necessary expertise for this purpose. They have also been asked to provide medicinal plants that produce flowers to be planted around the bee boxes. This will encourage abundant pollination by the bees.
The initiative has been reportedly introduced as part of the centre’s “Vibrant Village Programme” (VVP). “There has been a very warm response from the villagers to this initiative,” an official told a news agency.
The South Bengal frontier of the BSF in Nadia district is known for its susceptibility to cross-border crimes such as smuggling of cattle, gold, silver, and narcotics. In the past, there have been cases where miscreants and smugglers have either successfully cut or attempted to cut the fence in order to carry out their illegal activities.
Having beehives on the fence will discourage smugglers from cutting it, as any such attempt would disturb the bees. If provoked, the bees could swarm and cause serious injury to the smugglers, according to a BSF official.
The Ayush Ministry has supplied the BSF with medicinal plant saplings such as tulsi, ekangi, satmuli, ashwagandha, and aloe vera. The border personnel, along with the local community, are actively involved in planting these saplings in the border areas.
Honeybees are essential for both collecting food and pollinating flowers, making them crucial for crop production and feeding the world’s population. They play a vital role in pollinating nearly all crops worldwide, including fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Experts from the Ayush Ministry estimate that without bees, global crop yields could decrease by up to 35 per cent.
The BSF is responsible for guarding the India-Bangladesh front. The Union government has launched the “Vibrant Village Program” to promote the comprehensive development of remote areas located along the front.