grantees » Kariamal Manradiar

Kariamal  Manradiar, India

Kariamal Manradiar is a beekeeper at Palni Hills Conservation Council (PHCC) in Tamil Nadu, India. PHCC is an organization that works to conserve ecosystems of the Western Ghats mountains through sustainable resource management, promotion of organic farming methods, and campaigning against local environmental pollution.  At PHCC, Kariamal maintains 40 colonies of bees (Apis cerana indica) at two mountain apiaries. He also trains farmers and community members in honey and beeswax production, collects data on flora and fauna resources in nearby forests and farmland, and monitors and reports on the health of the bee colonies. Furthermore, Kariamal is an expert at breeding queens for new colonies, and fabricates his own beehives using all-natural products like bamboo, rattan and wood. Kariamal has a passion for organic farming, since the use of agricultural chemicals can be harmful to bee populations and thus the pollination processes.

With his grant, Kariamal   learned how to use computer software to further his bee management and data collection techniques. This has helped him train other beekeepers and share his expertise with other farmers at workshops and conferences. This collaboration aimed to promote sustainable bee keeping as a means of improving pollination of fruit crops and coffee plants, and to stimulate international collaboration on the topic.  Most interestingly, Kariamal has been influential in setting up Apis Cerana bee colonies in a city called Coimbatore, where they can stimulate flowering plants to grow which in turn provide nectar and pollen.

 His experience with the grant has inspired him to work on urban beekeeping programs, and there is even a  DVD release in progress on how to keep the  Apis Cerana bee more efficiently. Kariamal has managed to both grow as an environmental leader and to motivate others in improving their environment, all through the crucial activity of beekeeping.