BSU – ATBI conducts beekeeping seminar for strawberry production

By BSU UPAO - Posted on 27 November 2017

As one of the line projects under the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Benguet State University (BSU) and the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST – PCARRD), the BSU - Agri-based Technology Incubator/Innovation Center (BSU – ATBI/IC) conducted a beekeeping seminar on November 23-24, 2017.

Titled, “Use of Stingless bee as pollinators in strawberry production”, farmers enrolled at the BSU – ATBI participated in the activity.

Prof. Paquito P. Untalan, Director of the Cordillera Regional Apiculture Center (CRAC) introduced beekeeping and the stingless bee in strawberry production. He presented the anatomy of the bee, how to take care of bees, and its uses for human consumption and for climate change mitigation.

“The food that we eat is pollinated seeds,” explained Untalan, adding that the bees are responsible for pollinating flowers in the gardens or farms. He presented a visual aid comparing the strawberry plant that is pollinated and another that was not. It was evident that the pollinated was healthy and in full size.

Untalan also discussed the behavior of bees whenever they notice a threat. He said that whenever there are natural enemies trying to enter the beehive, the worker bees act as guards to repel the known enemy. Since these bees are stingless, or there is the absence of a stinger, the bees then try to enter the enemy’s nostrils, eyes, or ears.

Untalan also gave visual aids on the architectural structure of a beehive. The beehive consists of the entrance, where bees can create multiple entrances; the brood section, where the queen bee lays her eggs; the storage section, where the bees store their nectar; and the open space, in which the bees store other miscellaneous items such as resin and propolis (a brownish waxy material collected from the buds of trees and used as cement). Leo E. Kimbungan and Eric Jayson J. Gamboa from CRAC presented on the stingless beehives and equipment and on how to start a stingless bee colony.

“Bigyan lang natin ng konting patience, bigyan lang ng konting panahon, magiging ganito rin ang kinalabasan (let’s be more patient and give the beehive a little more time and it will become a successful one),” said Gamboa whilst discussing the process of setting up a man-made beehive.

After the discussion, a demonstration and a practicum on bee hive fabrication was conducted in the afternoon. The participants were guided by Untalan, Kimbungan, Gamboa, and Roberto D. Faroden, Jr., who led the demonstration.

After the demonstration, the participants then practiced on transferring bee colonies into hive boxes and on making a hive box.

Dr. Karen B. Gaerlan, project staff of BSU – ATBI/IC program said that the beekeeping seminar was the second in the line activities under the BSU – DOST-PCAARRD Technology Business Incubator (TBI) Program to farmers.

The first activity was the application of probiotics in the soil, then the use of stingless bee as pollinators in strawberry production, and third is the discussion on predatory mites against the Diamond Back Moth.

As of press time, there are 51 farmers enrolled at the BSU – ATBI.//MDPenchog