I have recently returned from a consulting trip to India. I actually went to hep structure a plan for the re-structuring of their national bee board, but could'nt help but do some beekeeping. This time it was in Rajasthan, my second trip there. Before I have worked only in the Himalaya with A. cerana. I can't help but feel a little confused with what I saw. I am sure it is a conglomeration heading to Parasitic Mite Syndrome, and I hope so as I believe I have also seen some AFB. If this is the case, the Indian bee industry seems doomed. I have not seen AFB since I was a kid, when the local inspector infected our hives in Ashtabula, Ohio through glove wearing. I cannot imagine the Indians burning their hives and the nuking facilities are expensive, at least for the beekeepers there.
The problem is that there is no controls, people use any treatment they can get their hands on to excess and beyond and, this is a great one, do not use supers as the transport in migration is too expensive, so harvest from the brood, uncapping the corners of full brood filled frames and spinning them out. Perhaps I am delusional about AFB as this practice will stess any hive...Oh, because of the three other indigenous bees, there is alot of robbing and it does not help that they leave the dead hives for all to glean. Imagine the disaster ecologically with bees like A. dorsata who migrate far distances.
Any suggestions? There are some great beekeepers there and when I was asked to help in this regard I said to talk to their members who are doing it right (but even than they must tango with the other guys in migration....)
So you think you got problems.....