Participants of a beekeeping training are taught how to handle these honey-producing insects in Barangay Pikinit, Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte. The province aims to become a major supplier of honey and other products derived from bees in Mindanao. (Photo courtesy of Edelyn dela Cruz-Balungcas)
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Lanao del Norte is poised to become one of the prime producers of honey and other products derived from bees, as the province has expanded the number of beneficiaries of its beekeeping project.
Close to 30 residents have already availed of the project in the towns of Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Kapatagan and Tubod and more are expected to follow suit soon, Nash Tubongbanua, the focal person on agritech specializing on livestock and poultry under the office of Lanao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo, said on Saturday.
He said it was through the initiative of Dimaporo that the bee farming project was introduced in the province in 2017.
Dimaporo’s office, Tubongbanua said, partnered with the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) and Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMSU) for their expertise on beekeeping.
“UPLB and DMMMSU provided the technology and other needs, while the local government units’ participation is to accept the project and see to it that it will be sustained,” he said.
Tubongbanua said a study was made if farming bees is viable in Lanao del Norte, adding that many areas in the province are conducive to beekeeping.
So far, more than 30 colonies of honey-producing bees have been distributed to residents. A single colony has thousands of bees in it.
Aside from honey, the bee farmers have also harvested other products such as been pollen and bee propolis.
The produce from these bee farms has yet to reach commercial scale, but as more people are starting to engage in beekeeping, Tubongbanua said the province will soon become a significant supplier of honey and other products.
For Edelyn dela Cruz-Balungcas, an entrepreneur and farmer from Kapatagan and an advocate of organic agriculture, having a bee farm is very helpful not just to those who are into beekeeping but to the environment, as well.
“Bees are natural farmers and they can help in the pollination of plants. I have a farm in Kapatagan and I can say that they are very useful,” she said.
It also helps that several farms in the province have adopted organic agriculture as bees cannot survive in areas where synthetic chemicals are used.
Since it is a new technology in Lanao del Norte, dela Cruz-Balungcas said the challenge to the local governments is to entice more people to venture into beekeeping.
Dela Cruz-Balungcas is one of the recipients of the technical training on beekeeping, which includes techniques on how to take care of the bee colonies and how to harvest honey, among others.
She said the beekeeping trainees will finish the training sometime in April. (PNA)