The Philippine is endowed with national resources conducive to successful beekeeping. All species of bees used for beekeeping exist in the Philippines. These are the European honey bees  (Apis mellifera), Asian honey bees (Apis cerana), and stingless bees (Trigona spp.). However, European honey bees is the preferred species used by the commercial beekeepers because according to them, this bee specie is more productive and less aggressive when being manipulated compared to Apis cerana and stingless bees. Apis Dorsata or the giant and wild honey bee is also an indigenous bee species, but this species cannot be hived or domesticated. This specie can produce honey at par with Apis mellifera.

 

Philippines is a net importer of honey bee products. An average of 200 tons of honey is imported every year aside from other bee products such as royal jelly, pollen, propolis, queen bees, to name a few. The country could produce only 50 tons from cultured hives of apis mellifera, apis cerana and trigona species. Apis Dorsata is hunted for its honey by rural folks. Its honey is consumed by them and some are sold to the towns and cities.

 

The country is exporting beekeepers to Australia, Canada and New Zealand. There are at least 500 registered beekeepers at beekeeping associations in the Philippines. High level beekeeping expertise can be found in the country for those contemplating to establish commercial beekeeping.

 

The two important challenges of beekeeping in the Philippines are the lack of quality of Apis mellifera and varroa mites infestation. Apis mellifera queens are imported by the thousands every year from USA and Australia. Drugs for varroa mites are very expensive and tend to immunize the mites after a few years. The National Apiculture Research Training and Development Institute (NARTDI) and the University of the Philippines Bee Program has already devise a way to minimize if not eliminate these challenges by using queen instrumental insemination technology. Through this technology, queens will be available all year in the country. This technology will also produce bees resistant to varroa mites infestation. However, the main challenge is government lack of support for beekeeping development compared to developed countries, their governments are at the forefront of beekeeping efforts.

 

The world supply of pure honey (honey not contaminated with substances harmful to human health) is declining. China, a major supplier of honey bee products is banned to export to USA and other European countries because its bee products are contaminated with banned antibiotics. This would be an opportunity for the Philippines to fill the void cause by this ban. The Philippines is in the position to sell organic bee products to the world market.

 

In Cagayan Valley Region, few were engaged into beekeeping activities. This was evidenced by a limited volume of production of honey averaging at 4,170 kilograms annually produced from the 156 number of colonies of 43 beekeepers in the region*. The absence of a regional association of beekeepers in the region is not a hindrance for the beekeeping industry to prosper. The strong support coming from the state colleges and universities based in the three (3) provinces of the region is an indication that the industry will be eyed as one of the profitable business venture in the valley alongside with the Local Government Units and NARTDI.

 

Pure honey and bee pollen are among the major products being marketed by the beekeepers.  These products being produced by the Apis mellifera are being preferred by most buyers because of its unique, natural and healthy benefits in the human body.

 

Cagayan Valley has the resources in terms of forest and land areas. Its wide range of pasture and forage areas planted with varieties of trees such as narra, acacia, mahogany among others are suitable in honeybee culture requirements.  Source of nectars are readily available hence bees can easily thrives in every areas where trees are abundantly grows.

 

1.     Statistics on production of the industry

        

 

2.     Major Players of the Industry

Farmer/Growers/Processers

There are about 3 registered private associations; 50 individual beekeepers and in the region. Most of them are grower/producers. Among these are beekeepers of the Palaui Island Honey Hunters Marketing Cooperative of Cagayan; the Isabela Bee Friendly Raisers Inc. of Mallig, Isabela; Quirino Livelihood for Everyone of Quirino and other private beekeepers.

 

Lead Government Agencies/Institutions

The National Apiculture Research and Development (NARTDI) and UPLB Bee Program are the two leading government organizations involved in the development of beekeeping in the Philippines. In support to these lead agencies, SUCs are also involved in the conduct of research and development. These are the following:

 

1.     Benguet State University

2.     Camarines Sur State Agriculture College

3.     Cavite State University

4.     Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University

5.     Mariano Marcos State University

6.     Philippine Normal University

7.     Saint Louis University

8.     University of the Philippines Los Banos

 

In Cagayan Valley, three (3) state college and universities are involved in beekeeping, these are the Isabela State University – the Provincial Apiculture Center of Isabela, the Cagayan State University – Regional Apiculture Center and the Quirino State College.

 

Organizations/Associations

Beekeeping associations exist in the country such as Beekeeping Congress of the Philippines Inc. (BCPI), BEENET, FILBEE among others.

 

3.     Market Information

  

Competitors in the Export Market

Countries that are into beekeeping such as Canada, New Zealand and China are the major competitors in terms of export market. These countries are the leading producers of honey products because of the state of the art facilities and equipment in beekeeping.

 

Value Added Product of the Industry

  

Marketing and Promotion

Marketing of products is done through advocacy and campaign materials. As the business will expand, DTI will intervene in the marketing aspect through marketing and promotional activities such as trade fairs, food caravan among others.

Market Outlets/Display Centers will be established for permanent outlets of products to be sold. These outlets will be located in department stores, groceries and other depot outside the region.

As part of the product promotion, the product will be packed and labeled according to marketing requirements, indicating basic information required in creating brand identification of the product.

 

Product Coverage

The product has a ready market locally. Target market are the pharmateuticals, drug companies, beauty specialists groceries, supermarkets and in the growth areas of the region and adjacent regions in Northern Luzon. Export market is also targeted to explore major possibilities in boosting the industry.

 

Price Competitiveness

Pricing of the honey products is based on standard pricing of all beekeepers wherein a 345ml of pure honey packed in glass bottle is costing P240.00, wax foundation at P75.00 each, raw pollen at P2,000.00/kilo, capsulized pollen at P6.50/600 grams, full blown colony with ten frames at P5,000.00-7,000.00 and queen bee at P500.00 each.

 

Raw Material Supply and Price

In terms of raw material requirements of the industry, these maybe acquired locally to beekeepers and suppliers. Prices of required supplies ranges from 800-5,000.00 only.

 

Technology

Mechanized and manual is the existing technology used in the industry.

 

Human Resources

One of the benefits of the industry is the generation of employment both local and foreign. Job generation is derived from the equipment fabrication and carpentry. In beekeeping, skilled and semi-skilled are required in processing bee products. Other aspect of the industry may involve employment for out of school youth, women and other sectors. Skilled apiaries have the opportunities to work in apiaries abroad because foreign countries preferred Filipino workers because of work attitudes and expertise in the field of beekeeping.

The 2010 data shows that in the Philippines, projected employment opportunities in the bee industry is 100% success rate or over 40,000 total direct and indirect jobs was generated.

 

Other Industry Information

Beekeeping or honeybee culture is very much compatible to agriculture not only in the pollination of cross-pollinated crops but also for self-pollinated as well. It is an environment friendly enterprise with nutritious and medicinal products that are compatible to all types of farming systems being practiced by most farmers. It is viable and ecologically sound community enterprise which is suitable in maximizing labor resources of both women and youth sector in the rural areas.