Mohib Khan, a beekeeper from Peshawar used to travel long distance along with hives to Chakwal, Sargodha and even Azad Kashmir for collecting honey, but Garhi Chandan Forest set up under Billion Tree Tsunami Project has proved to be a boon for him by providing huge flora within periphery of home district. Garhi Chandan is a man-made forest established under Billion Tree Tsunami Project by planting 3.2 million plants over an area of around 60,000 kanals of deserted and barren area by converting it into a lush green landscape. The grown up plants and trees at Garhi Chandan and other areas covered under BTTP are now serving as a boon for beekeepers and also helped in increasing honey production in the country in general and KP in particular. BTTAP was launched in 2014 by the PTI government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as an emergency response to global warming caused by climatic changes. Under the project, completed in 2019, a record one billion plants were planted in the province. The success of the project encouraged the federal government which decided for its extension in the whole country by launching the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project in the same year. KP will have around one billion more trees on completion of the extended project. “BTTP has left a very positive impact on honey traders and bee keepers by providing them with huge flora in almost the majority of the districts of the province,” shared Mohib Khan. Talking with APP, Mohib who is associated with the beekeeping profession for the last three decades said easy availability and abundance of flowering plants has made it easy for them to collect honey and also reduced the production cost by bringing a slash in transportation charges. Earlier, we visited Punjab and AJK by carrying our bee hives along with us which incurred a lot of expenditure under the head of traveling charges. While daily meal and stay expenditure was an additional burden on our business. However, availability of greenery and flowers within nearby areas has reduced our struggle in continuing business besides getting additional income due to increased production in honey. “In the BTTP preference was given to flora species which have now grown up and giving fruits to the beekeepers and those associated with floral business,” apprised Rashid Hussain, Deputy Director Non Timber Forest Products KP. Speaking to APP, Rashid Hussain said only in Garhai Chandan Forest 40 percent of plants planted belongs to Acasia Modista (Palosa) which gives flowers in March, April and May. Palosa honey is the main product in the honey business and mostly consumed in the country due to its good taste and affordable price, Rashid told APP. Twenty percent of plants planted in Charhi Chandan are of Acasia Nitolitica (Kiker) and two percent of Berries and few of Shesham and remaining of Eucalyptus, he added. “Recently a number of beekeepers had arrived at Garhi Chandan forest along with their bee hives to collect honey,” informs Gulzar Khan, District Forest Office Peshawar. Apart from having a very positive impact on the environment of Peshawar, the Garhi Chandan forest has also started generating income for the local community in the form of payments by beekeepers, collectors of medicinal plants and flowers, Gulzar disclosed. “The Honey bee traders had highly welcomed the launching of the Billion Tree Tsunami and also appreciate the gigantic project of Ten Billion Tree Tsunami,” commented Naeem Qasmi, President All Pakistan Beekeeping and Honey Dealers Association. Qasim said honey production has increased due to plantation drives launched by the PTI government earlier in KP and later in the whole country. He also insisted on planting more berry trees because of the demand for the honey in the international market. Qasmi also demanded for training of beekeepers in extracting other products of bee hives like wax and royal jelly which will help in increasing income of people associated with this business besides export of the country. Naeem Qasmi informed that there are around 20,000 bee keepers in the country out of whom 98 percent of them belong to KP. Therefore, he continued, the BTTP project has benefited the majority of the bee keepers of the country. He said honey production has also registered an increase and presently we are producing around five to seven thousands containers each containing around 20,000 kg of honey. The production will continue to grow with the planting of more trees and by bringing improvement in honey collection procedure through research by scientists and training of keepers by experts of concerned departments, he expressed the hope.