Buzz around is that Uttarakhand will soon have its own honey testing lab which will be set up in Jeolikot in Nainital district. The testing lab will be used to check the purity of the harvested honey, as per the officials from the horticulture department. Jeolikot was chosen as the location for this quality control lab as the place had a rich legacy of bee rearing. Honey bee centre was first established in Jeolikot as early as 1938.
The lab will be set up at a cost of around Rs 50 lakh. It will help check antibodies, sugar, trace elements like lead and other foreign materials that make their way into the honey during production.
– MC Tiwari, state beekeeping officer
The officials believe the lab will help standardize the quality of honey produce and would in turn attract more buyers for Uttarakhand’s Himalayan honey. A quality tested honey has an increased commercial value and can even be imported to different countries.
At present, Uttarakhand is home to 5,566 bee keepers who produce over 1400 tonnes of honey every year. The main honey extraction months are April (Chaith), May (Baisakh), July-August (Ashaad) and as well as in October in some areas. The honey extracted in April-May is considered to be the sweetest, while that extracted in July is less sweet.