Local honey producer sets sight on skincare range
LOCAL stingless bee honey producer, Tasbee Meliponiculture Farm, is looking to expand its honey-based products to include skincare cream next year.
Owner Mitasby Hj Mamit, said that he was inspired to diversify his products because of the rising trend of Bruneians taking up beekeeping as a source of income has oversaturated the market of stingless bee honey.
“Our stingless bee honey does not sell as much as it used to because you can find the honey everywhere as there are more people producing it. We need to change and (innovate), to create new products based on stingless bee produce,” he said.
Mitasby said that he attended the 2016 Stingless Bee Tour in Kuala Lumpur recently in March.
The trip had inspired him to expand his business as he was taught how to make various products stingless bee honey and propolis.
He said that there are more than three thousand products that can be developed from stingless bees, ranging from skincare to candies and snacks.
The farm owner added that most of these products can be made manually.
However, Mitasby admitted that attempting to create a new product is difficult as the ingredients are not readily available in Brunei and have to be shipped as well as the fact that these products require large amounts of the stingless bees’ propolis.
Propolis is made from the resinous material in flowers and leaf buds of various plants, which is chewed by bees and mixed with its own wax and enzymes to make glue that’s used to line the entrance and interior of the hive.
“We have more than a hundred stingless bee nests, however even this is not enough because we can’t harvest much of the propolis as they are used as honey pots for us to harvest their honey,” he said.
Mitasby went on to say that he is still gathering information on how to ensure his bees produce more propolis.
The Brunei Times