BSU-Cordillera Regional Apiculture Center is on to promoting stingless bee rearing

By upao - Posted on 28 August 2019

Bees are popular for their honey, their role as pollinators and their sting but there are actually kinds of honeybees that are stingless. Stingless honeybees are locally known as lukutan (Tetragonula Laeviceps) in Benguet. They are darker in color and slightly smaller than Millefera, the European species raised by most beekeepers.

Lukutan is one of the two bee species found locally, the other is biroi. According to Leo E. Kimbungan of the BSU-Cordillera Regional Apiculture Center (CRAC), lukutan have always been present in Benguet but people are not aware that it can be domesticated.

He shared that locals would gather lukutan honey from the wild by poking their hives or cutting the branch where the hives are attached. There are also instances when lukutan would attach their hives in houses.

Hence, domesticating stingless bees is still a potential trade with a potential market in Benguet. This is the reason the BSU-CRAC of the Benguet State University is now promoting the domestication of
Lukutan by offering technical assistance to interested individuals. CRAC staff
could provide lectures and help manage stingless bee hives that got attached in
houses. The center currently maintains 10 boxes of lukutan at the College of Forestry Nursery.

“The honey by stingless bees has a unique taste because, according to researches, it has lactobacilli and more nutritional content than the usual honey. This also gives it a potential market because some individuals prefer the not-so-sweet honey,” said Kimbungan.

He added that other than honey, propolis from the lukutan has antiseptic properties when processed, stingless bees are also efficient pollinators improving crop yield. At present stingless bees could be found in the La Trinidad Strawberry Farm acting as pollinators.

The BSU-CRAC is located at the third floor of the College of Forestry building. The center offers services such as the re-boxing of lukutan hive, technical assistance in rearing as well as seminars.//JSTabangcura