ISLAMABAD – National Agriculture Research Center’s (NARC) Honey Bee Research Institute Senior officer Dr Rashid Hussain said on Tuesday that Pakistan was producing prime quality of honey in the world.
Talking to APP Dr Rashid said that despite the fact Pakistan had great potential to get itself listed in the major honey producers in the world, the country still fell at number 20th in terms of production. He said that Pakistan was producing 298,000 metric tons annually, while China was the largest exporter in the world, he added. He said that the quality which made Pakistani honey so special was due to berry tree (Ziziphus) adding fortunately berry trees were grown in abundance in the Potohar region. In Chakwal, Mianwali, Kark and Bannu districts, these trees could be seen, he added.
Unlike many other trees, berry blossoms from mid-September to mid-October and this is the period when honeybees do wonders in their hives by the nectar extracted from the flowers, he said. He said that the researchers have proved that honey made of the nectar of berry trees has higher medicinal value compared to honeys made of other flowers’ nectars. When September approaches, the beekeepers from different areas of Pakistan rush towards the Potohar region and establish their colonies at deserted places besides roads.
“The fields of Chakwal have abundant of berry trees and the atmosphere of the area is also very ideal,” a honey beekeeper Abdul Khaliq who set up his honybee colony at Lohi Bheer area told APP. It takes honeybees at least one month to give final shape to their product. After harvesting honey, the beekeepers take it to Tarnab, the hub of honey trade in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, from where it is sold to traders who export it to Arab countries, he said. Naeem Qasmi, the president of Pakistan Beekeepers Association (PBA) told APP that he was worried about the cutting of berry trees.