Stingless bee honey venture lures MPK

National 1 minute, 58 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

SOME villagers from Kg Limau Manis who have been lured by the growing popularity of home-based stingless bee honey production have officially introduced on Thursday their bottled honey under the government’s One Village One Product (OVOP) initiative.

Harmaswady Hj Abdullah, Mohamad Jasni Imran and Samdani Judin, from the Kg Limau Manis Village Consultative Council (MPK), followed the footsteps of other beekeepers in the sultanate in producing honey from stingless bees last November.

“It is easier to start keeping stingless bees than honey bees,” said Harmaswady at the sidelines of the opening ceremony of OVOP Expo at Times Square.

He said stingless bees are farmer-friendly because their food sources are mainly flowers and breeding them can be done at one’s yard.

Harmaswady breeds four different species of stinglees bees, including Heterotrigona itama and Tetrigona binghami, on his property which is surrounded by 143 wooden boxes for the flying insects.

When the trio started beekeeping six months ago, they got the bees from resinous trees in the forest.

But now, they buy the stingless bees from other people, he said.

Among the challenges in breeding the stingless bees is how to keep ants and frogs out of the man-made stingless bee’s nest, Harmaswady said.

“In doing so, we have to check the nest everyday or every other day to ensure that no ants or frogs (intrude them),” the beekeeper said.

Sometimes, we have to place the wooden boxes in higher place to keep them away from frogs, he added.

During the OVOP Expo, MPK Limau Manis displayed different sizes of bottled honey. The product is priced at $6 for 30ml, $15 for 80ml, $20 for 100ml and $30 for 160ml.

To promote stingless bee honey that possesses high nutritional value, MPK Limau Manis does not only sell them at the houses of the beekeepers, but also participate in a number of exhibitions in the country. Harmaswady said he places his products at three cube stores in the city’s commercial areas. Breeding stingless bees at a home-based farm could be a profitable business. So far, he earns about $1,000 from selling the stingless bee honey.

“As a representative from MPK Limau Manis, I hope that the production of stingless bee honey from our village will be sustained,” he said. Since 2009, the government-led OVOP project has encouraged villages to come up with their own products.

The Brunei Times