Bee cultivator develops medicinal honey soap

National 2 minutes, 20 seconds

BELAIT

A STINGLESS bee cultivator in Lumut is currently developing a medicinal soap made out of honey, with the product currently being tested by her friends, family members and herself.

Fifty-year-old Hjh Rokiah Hj Enche, owner of Lumut-based Taman Kalulut Na’imah Al-Wafirah, said her preliminary findings showed that besides cosmetic effects, the soap had also helped in treating minor skin diseases such as rash and allergies.

The soap, she explained, is made by using a “base material” imported from Malaysia, which, she estimated to be around $10 per kg, as 5kg would cost her around $50.

She added that 3kg of it can produce around 100 bar soaps, “but this would also depend on the density and the size of the soap itself,” she said.

It is then mixed with honey and other components she had learnt throughout her venture in the honey businesses.

This, she said, is also taking into account the lesson she learnt from a soap-maker in Mukim Tanjong Maya, who made soaps mixed with virgin coconut oil that helps with cosmetic purposes.

For soaps made out of honey, most of the effects Hjh Rokiah found were medicinal, adding that it helps treat any symptoms or deteriorating nature of skins.

The product, she said, had been tested for about two to three months, but Hjh Rokiah said she has yet to be confident on her products, adding that there may also be other components or planning that should be taken before the product is commercialised.

“But so far, the product has been good to my friends, my family members and myself; and perhaps a little bit more time then we will be able to sell this to the public,” she added.

Hjh Rokiah said she had been involved in the honey business since a year ago.

She had first received the nesting place for the bees from a relative to help her cultivate her own honey as she found it effective in treating her bedridden condition.

Feeling better, she then conducted more research about the honey, and finding out that there are locally produced honeys in Brunei, she aspired to have one on her own for personal use.

Nearly a year passed since then, Hjh Rokiah now has nine stingless bees nesting in total, giving her an endless stock of honey all year around.

While also thinking of selling her products as a side business, she however focused more on cultivating the honey for herself, and to just focus on side products, as there have already been a lot of people venturing into the business.

“So if you wanted to buy my honey, you would have to come to my house, located at No 79, Jalan Sungai Bakong Selatan,” she said, adding that she is also welcoming school visits, which must be arranged in advance.

The Brunei Times