To further promote apiculture development in the region, the Agricultural Training Institute XI conducted a one-day Stingless Beekeeping Seminar on February 22, 2019 at the training Center.
The seminar is aimed at raising awareness on the benefits of stingless beekeeping as sustainable economic source and viable help in the environmental preservation.
A group of farmers and Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) from Davao Occidental were the participants of the seminar delivered by the Resource Speaker Mr. Epifanio Loyola, a renowned bee keeper, ATI LS Cooperator and RAFC XI Chairperson. Topics covered include importance of beekeeping, anatomy of bees, colony composition, species of honeybees, pest, diseases and predators of honeybees, bee keeping equipment and construction, and bee product uses.
Loyola, in his lecture, underscored the advantages of stingless beekeeping compared to other honeybee species.
“Raising stingless bees is very economical, practical and its produce has high market potential. The colony is self-sufficient and does not require much labor on the farmer’s part. Its honey, pollen and propolis are known to have numerous medicinal attributes, thus, it has high demands in local and international markets,” Loyola said.
Loyola added that unlike other honeybee species, stingless bee can be feasible in a chemically infected environment such as in Region XI where most places are surrounded with banana plantations.
“Stingless bee can only fly 500 meters away from its colony to pollinate and gather food, so just make sure that your farm has abundant trees and flowers in it.” the bee expert said.
After the lecture, participants were taken to the Meliponiculture (Stingless Bee) Farm located in the Center’s Learning Site for Agriculture (LSA) to observe and benchmark on the site requirements and equipment needed in raising stingless bees. They have also tried actual splitting of bee hive as a hands-on activity.
During the seminar, Loyola emphasized that more than the promising financial breakthrough beekeeping has to offer, it is its environmental gain that made it an important industry that needs support from the government to further develop. “Not only do bees create honey, but they’re also farmers’ partners in pollinating crops and plants to produce quality fruits and vegetables, hence, we should raise ample awareness of its importance”. Loyola said.