Although there is no forest in Chalanbeel area, there are mustard fields on the horizon. It is as if the golden glow of mustard flower is swaying in the wind in the field. The passer-by is standing and looking at the heavenly bliss for a moment. Hundreds of tonnes of pure honey are extracted from this mustard flower every year.
Every year in the Bengali month of Agrahayan to Poush, mustard yellow flowers are seen in the fields of Chalanbil. It looks like a yellow carpet. Seeing such a scene catches the eye. Famous poet Navakrishna Bhatracharya wrote a poem to describe the traditional scenario of bees collecting honey from mustard flowers.
At this time beekeepers from different parts of the country came to collect mustard flower honey to eat the mustard of Chalanbeel. About 900 farmers have already set up bee boxes to eat mustard in Chalanbeel area this season. Bees kept by farmers engaged in collecting honey in yellow blooms, dancing and running.
That is why the Chalanbeel, once known for its fish stocks, has now become a sweet bill. Beekeepers estimate that this time there is a possibility of producing about 200 metric tonnes of honey from the mustard field in Chalanbeel area which is worth about 20 crore rupees.
It is known that greater Chalanbeel area is formed with 9 upazilas of Sirajganj, Pabna and Natore districts each year. The fields are covered with yellow mustard flowers.
In recent years, mustard has been cultivated in about 50,000 hectares of land in this vast area. As rainwater recedes from the land, farmers in the area scatter mustard seeds as a surplus crop. They cultivate Boro in these lands by picking mustard in the Bengali month of Magh.
From the month of Agrahan, beekeepers from different parts of the country including Sirajganj, Pabna, Natore, Tangail, Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Narail, Gazipur, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Chapainawabganj, Rajshahi, Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Nilphamari and other areas of Chalanbeel area to collect honey. . They put the bee boxes on the side of the mustard field and collect honey every few days.
Moukhamari Saidur Rahman of Shyamnagar upazila of Satkhira district has come to Chalanbil to collect mustard honey. On November 28, he set up his 180 bee boxes next to a mustard field in Makarshon village in Tarash, Chalanbeel. Saidur Rahman said that the bees are now collecting honey from the flowers and storing it in the box.
He will be able to start collecting honey between 10th and 12th of December this year. From then on, he will be able to collect honey at least once a week.
He will collect honey in Chalanbeel for about two months. In these two months you can collect honey six to seven times. He thinks that 8 to 10 mounds of honey can be found at a time.
If the weather is favorable, he can get 60 to 70 mounds of honey in two months. At present the wholesale price of honey per mind is seven thousand rupees. Every year the wholesalers from this area buy honey and supply it to different companies. About one thousand beekeepers came to collect honey in Chalanbeel. The farms employ about two to three thousand workers. He also said that the farmers got good price of honey last year.
Md. Jahangir Alam, president of North Bengal Beekeepers Cooperative Society, said that about 800 farmers are collecting honey in different fields of Chalanbeel.
In a few days, two to three hundred more farmers will come to the area to collect honey. Beekeepers from almost all parts of the country come to collect honey in Chalanbeel. We divide the area for farmers to set up bee boxes.
A farmer collects honey in an area of one to one and a half kilometers. It is estimated that there is a possibility of producing about 200 metric tonnes of honey in Chalanbeel area this season with a current market value of around Tk 20 crore.
In this regard, Tarash Upazila Agriculture Officer Lutfunnahar Luna said that besides bumper mustard crop, 11 tons of honey will be collected in Tarash Upazila alone. However, bee farmers can be more profitable if they can process honey.
Read more: 12,000 kgs of honey harvested in Rajshahi