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Bees and Apple Trees

  • Joan Pollock
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One of the positive sides of Climate Change is that the Spiti Valley is wetter and warmer in summer and it is now possible to grow apple trees, so many farmers have created orchards of 25 to 50 trees which are thriving very well.

However, there are no fences round their orchards and the village children like to pick apples (a great treat for them that they had not had before) which was not good for the farmers! Now the orchards have high fences with strong gates!

We at Spiti Projects decided it would be great for the poor families with no land to have a couple of apple trees in their back yard so the children could ‚Äúpick their own” and the farmers would be left with their apples to harvest and sell. Apples are rich in vitamin C and they would be an extra treat for young children. There are over 2,000 households in the valley.

Spiti Projects recently bought 150 trees from the Government. The local committee will go round the villages and plant the trees in the correct way for them to flourish and provide for the families.

Beekeepers with up to 20-30 hives transport the bees by truck to the Himalayan areas in spring and travel round the mountain areas helping the farmers to pollinate their apple trees. Sometimes they stay in Spiti through the summer and sell the fresh honey that the bees make to the local people. This is a new experience for the local people.