Wild honey is among the most highly demanded non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in Indonesia. However, in recent years the production of wild honey has declined steadily. Behind this background, an initiative to develop Trigona sp bee farming in the Forest Management Unit (FMU) West Berau has been established. The Trigona sp bee, which is similar in size as flies, has no sting. To defend themselves, the bees produce a kind of sap called propolis, an additional marketable product besides honey.
The benefits of marketing this bee include: no special maintenance needed, no special equipment required, no stings, easy for colony development, higher propolis productivity than other species, pest resistance, possibility to harvest all year long. Therefore, the FMU West Berau in East Kalimantan, supported by FORCLIME, conducted an inventory and information campaign from 23-28 of June 2014 about the advantages of Trigona sp bee among the communities bordering the FMU West Berau area. The purpose of this activity was to identify and conduct research on the medical benefits of honey as well as its potential to improve the livelihood of communities living in and near the surrounding forests. Hence in the long-term, promotion of Trigona sp bee farming it is expected to increase the value of forests and so reduce the negative impacts such as deforestation and forest degradation for economic interests.
During the event participants learned how to make 'stubs' (bee hive boxes) and fill them with bee eggs and natural nests. Afterwards the stubs were distributed to the villages of Muara Lesan, Long Beliu, Sidobangen, Merasa, which are all located in the surroundings of the FMU West Berau.
Also the Head of the FMU West Berau, Mr. Hamzah, highly appreciated the initiative of Trigona sp bee farming as it can reduce the (health) risks compared to traditional wild honey harvesting. For that reason, FMU West Barat will be ready to support similar activities in other villages.
For further information, please contact:
Ali Mustofa, Thematic Leader of Community Empowerment