‘Bee byproducts have potential’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
LOCAL beekeepers yesterday highlighted the importance of developing byproducts from stingless bee honey.
The group of 28 beekeepers arrived last night from the 2016 Stingless Bee Tour in Putrajaya, Malaysia, where they learned about good beekeeping practices including exploring stingless bee byproducts.
Organised by the Malaysia Stingless Bee Academy, the event was held from March 19-24 in conjunction with ASEAN Stingless Bee Carnival 2016 in Putrajaya.
Mitasby Hj Mamit, the head of the group, said that during the tour, the Brunei participants had the opportunity to attend a course on making byproducts from stingless bee honey such as soap.
“We have the potential to develop activities to produce byproducts from stingless bees in Brunei,” said Mitasby, who owns the Tasbee Meliponiculture Farm in Kg Sg Kelugos in Tutong District.
“We learned valuable lessons and gained new knowledge and experience from the tour, especially on matters pertaining to breeding stingless bees,” he said.
From his property, he developed a traditional practice of producing honey from stingless bees in 2009 followed by creating stingless bee honey-based soap in 2013.
About three months ago, he began developing an aromatherapy candle, as he wanted to extend the stingless bee honey product range.
To make the candles, he uses honey secreted from Tetrigona binghami, a species of stingless bee. He breeds about 18 different species on his property, so his home is surrounded by 80 wooden boxes for stingless bees.
Another beekeeper from the group, Hjh Marinah Hj Abd Hadi, said there are many byproducts of stingless bee honey that can be explored by local beekeepers.
She said the tour, which involved a series of activities, has been very beneficial for her in terms of improving her knowledge of how to breed stingless bees according to the climate, species and sources of food.
“From this event, we learned how to prevent stingless bees from fleeing or dying,” she said, adding that they also learned how to protect the bees from their enemies.
She began beekeeping in November 2014, breeding stingless bees on a farm on her property in Kg Tungku, Gadong.
Hjh Marinah said she intends to share the knowledge from the tour with other beekeepers in Brunei by organising workshops.
The Brunei Times