The establishment of Khadi and Village Industries Commission to revitalize the traditional village industries, hastened the development of beekeeping. During the 1980s, an estimated one million bee hives had been functioning under various schemes of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission. Production of apiary honey in the country reached 10,000 tons, valued at about Rs. 300 million.
Side by side with the development of apiculture using the indigenous bee, Apis cerana, apiculture using the European bee, Apis mellifera, gained popularity in Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Wild honey bee colonies of the giant honey bee and the oriental hive bee have also been exploited for collection of honey. Tribal populations and forest dwellers in several parts of India have honey collection from wild honey bee nests as their traditional profession. The methods of collection of honey and beeswax from these nests have changed only slightly over the millennia. The major regions for production of this honey are the forests and farms along the sub-Himalayan tracts and adjacent foothills, tropical forest and cultivated vegetation in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Eastern Ghats in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.
Honey Bee Farming in Rajasthan