CESO Volunteer shares more ways to gain income from beekeeping

By BSU UPAO - Posted on 28 April 2014

Aside from liquid honey, beekeepers can also derive bee’s wax candle, propolis (a natural antibiotic), honey comb, soap, honey beer and wine from their hives. Other than products, beekeepers can also rent their beehives to farmers for pollination.

This was enumerated by Peter John Keating, a volunteer of the Canadian Executive Services Organization or CESO.

Mr. Keating further said that bee’s wax candle is more expensive than paraffin ones and doesn’t cause any pollution.Bee’s wax can also be made into soap. Propolis is a glue like substance that bees produce to seal their hives, incidentally, it is also a natural antibiotic that is used in skin creams, royal jelly and food supplements. He said that there is a number of consumers in Canada who prefers honeycomb over liquid honey because honeycomb it is fresh and not processed. However, he advised that honey wine or mead and honey beer takes years of experience and knowledge to produce although it is not impossible. He suggested that locally, beekeepers could ask the help of those who already make wine out of local products like sweet potato and strawberry.

During the “Consultation on the Reciprocating Link Between Agricultural Crop Production and Beekeeping” held at the Benguet State University-NPRCRTC on April 21, 2014, Mr. Keating presented the benefits of pollination from bees showing that poor pollination in chayote and strawberries cause malformed fruits. He added that in Canada, he earns 50$ a hive to pollinate acres of blueberries and apples. But Mr. Keating suggested that local beekeepers may come together and develop their own system regarding this service because it maybe impractical to apply Canadian practices. This is due to the fact that farms in the Cordilleras is relatively small compared to Canadian farms meaning for Cordillera farms, there are enough insects and biodiversity to pollinate plants.

The consultation brought together different beekeepers and farmers organizations namely the SLU-EISSIF, Cordillera Beekeeper Federation, La Trinidad Beekeeping Association Inc., Beekeepers Association of the Philippines Inc., Swamp Farmers Association Inc., Sariling Sikap, and the Bahong Flower Producers Multipurpose Cooperative.

It was also attended by top BSU officials, La Trinidad Vice Mayor Romeo Salda and Executive Assistant Rolly Paleng from the Office of the Benguet Vice Governor.

BSU VP for Research and Extension, Dr. Luciana Villanueva said that the consultation where beekeepers and farmers meet is a dream that came true. Beekeepers has long been complaining that the pesticides used by farmers are harmful to the bees so the consultation is an appropriate venue where both farmers and beekeepers could reach a compromise.

Mr. Keating is in the region courtesy of a partnership between CESO, BSU, Cordillera Regional Apiculturist Center (based in BSU) and the National Apiculture Research, Training, and Development Institute or NARTDI. Upon arriving at BSU, he has visited some beekeepers. He appreciated the interest and enthusiasm of the beekeepers he has met so far. He commented that there is much room for improvement and that beekeeping has a large potential in Cordillera as it is the ‘only agriculture with no negative effect on the ecosystem’.//