Updated: Jan 9, 2019
Don't mistake me for a naturalist. I too make a living talking about connected cars, connected homes and connected everything. Even for me "connected bees" (Google for it) was bit of a shocker. Do we really need that much technology to bring back the bees?
Let me introduce Anjan a technologist and coffee grower from Sakleshapura. He is part of our community and has taken to hobby farming recently. I learnt from Anjan that Coffee is an annual crop and Indian coffee is special as its the only variety that is grown in the shade.
It seems that over a period of time, the rates of coffee has been increasing making plantation owners greedy. According to Anjan, largest investment in coffee plantation are labor and fertilizers. It goes without saying that these fertilizers are harmful to both consumers and handlers.
Big effort from Anjan since he bought the farm was in convincing his seasoned staff to shift into organic farming. Using his corporate instincts he has educated his farm hands on ill effects of chemicals and switched them to organic cultivation. While at it he is also working on bringing down his fertilizer cost through his own livestock. He has 2 cows and 3 calves, living in a clean living space.
His cow shed is built with a slight sloping floor. This helps in collection of dung, urine and soiled water into a sump.
This concoction is put through fermentation in 200 litre storage barrels to produce Jeevamrutam.
Bacteria in the fermented concoction acts as a food for the earthworms. He has noticed a great deal of improvement in the soil biology after dispersing Jeevamrutham. Earthworms could now be found digging few inches throughout his estate.
He admits that the most visible change he has seen since he took up this initiative has been return of bees. Earlier he would see bees only for a week during the flowering season. Recently he counted 4 hives, which is giving him the confidence that he is onto the right thing.
While Anjan found his solution to bring back the bees, I saw this caged trailer parked near wooded area by our office.
On a closer inspection I realized that it is a portable bee home. The Simplicity of transporting natures great pollinators where you need them highlights that not all problems need creative complex solutions.