Border Security Force (BSF) of India has started using ‘Bee Warriors’ to prevent cow smuggling, militant infiltration, smuggling through Bangladesh border. At various times attempts were made to commit criminal acts by cutting the barbed wire fence along the Indo-Bangladesh border. The BSF has taken this new initiative as part of its plan to fully secure the barbed wire fence along the border.
It is learned that the BSF has started beekeeping to completely secure the Indo-Bangladesh border fence from infiltrators and smugglers including militants. BSF is expected to play an important role in curbing fencing as a result of this move. This pilot project has been started in Kadipur village of Nadia district of West Bengal. A part of the Government of India’s ‘Integrated Plan’ on Beekeeping and Medicinal Plant Cultivation, a pilot project has been started in Kadipur village under the 32nd Battalion of the BSF patrolling the Indo-Bangladesh border. After that, the project will be implemented in different villages near the barbed wire of the border. The bees are expected to act as ‘warrior bees’, preventing Bangladeshi intruders and smugglers from cutting the fence.
It is hoped that the bees will deter Bangladeshi intruders and smugglers from cutting the fence
A BSF official said that India and Bangladesh share a border of 4,96 km. West Bengal is about 2 thousand 217 km. It was first started in the border areas of Nadia district to ensure security at the border and to help local villagers through apiculture.’
Union Ministry of AYUSH has been roped in with BSF for this project. Ministry has provided hives with bees to BSF. These beehives have also been trained by the ministry on how to maintain the barbed wire fence.
Sujeet Kumar, commandant of BSF’s 32 BSF battalion, conceptualized the project. He said, “BSF has taken initiatives under the Government of India’s ‘Vibrant Village Program (VVP)’ and requested the Ministry of AYUSH to supply medicinal plants. Flowering plants can be planted around these bee boxes so that the bees can pollinate in abundance. This project of keeping beehives along the barbed wire fence of India-Bangladesh border was launched on November 2. BSF has roped in local beekeepers. There has been a very good response from the villagers for this initiative.”
The BSF has claimed that border areas under the South Bengal border of BSF in Nadia district are prone to cross-border crimes like smuggling of cattle, gold, silver and drugs. There have been instances in the past when miscreants and smugglers have either cut or attempted to cut the barbed wire border fence for their illegal activities. Those bees will be a deterrent to poachers trying to cut the fence because any such attempt will disturb the bees and by nature swarms will attack them and seriously injure them.
Although the exact number of bee boxes being kept has not been disclosed, they are routinely and in poaching-prone areas placed on fences using wooden support frames. The bee boxes will be placed slightly above the ground along the fence. Some flowering plants will be planted around the box and shade over the box will create a natural habitat for the bees.
Ministry of AYUSH has provided seedlings of medicinal plants like Mustard, Tulsi, Ekangi, Satmuli, Ashwagandha, Ghritkumari to BSF for honey extraction. The border guards along with the locals are planting them in the border area. In a ceremony at Kadipur village in Nadia, the local villagers were informed that the honey they will extract from these bees will be sold through the shop established by BSF’s Family Welfare Association. The profit from the sale of honey will go to the locals.
It is learned that the project is in the process of involving Eastern Region, National Medicinal Plant Board, Jadavpur University, various agricultural production organizations, who will provide necessary seeds, soil testing, technical support and continuous know-how and plant seedlings under various government schemes and any disturbance. It will help to supply the honey produced under this scheme to the buyers at a reasonable selling price. This will not only help the border security but also the crop production of the region.
Statistics show that without bees, global crop yields could drop by up to 35 percent. Bees hover over flowers to gather food, so as pollinators they play an important role in food production for the world’s population. So these ‘Bee Warriors’ are expected to solve this menace. Besides, it will help the overall development of the people living in the villages near the border.