UTILIZATION AND COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION OF STINGLESS BEES AND ITS PRODUCTS IN BICOL, PHILIPPINES

Maria Dulce J. Mostoles, Allan B. del Rosario, Lilia C. Pasiona, and Roberto R. Buenaagua

ABSTRACT

           Upscaling meliponiculture can increase income through the utilization and commercial production of the bee and its products. This includes improved and sustained production with the abundant colony and pollen sources, enhanced pollination, and developing health and wellness products from stingless bees. The research objectives were: map out the geographical distribution, abundance, and morphological characterization of stingless bees in the Bicol Region; determine the pollen sources of bees in meliponaries and bloom pattern in the area; determine the pollination efficiency by stingless bees on pigeon pea; and, develop food and cosmetic products from stingless bees.

          Stingless bee colonies were sighted in all provinces in Bicol. Geographical locations were: Albay (Daraga), Camarines Norte (San Lorenzo Ruiz), Camarines Sur (Goa, Iriga, Tinambac), Catanduanes (Viga, Bagamanoc, Panganiban), Masbate (Aroroy), Sorsogon (Bulusan, Casiguran, Pilar, Prieto Diaz) but most abundant in Albay. Open nested colonies with clustered brood are T. sapiens while closed nested colonies with spherical brood are T. biroi. Acetolyzed bee bread from different meliponaries confirmed the pollen sources and documented the plant species, raw pollen, acetolyzed pollen, and bloom pattern. Pollination efficiency with 15 adult bees on pigeon pea flowers was 96.88%. Food and cosmetic products using pollen, propolis, and honey that were developed include moisturizing creams, propolis sprays, hand sanitizers, bath soaps and shampoo bars, macaroons with honey, polvoron with pollen, and honey-propolis candies. Three (3) IEC materials were distributed in trainings, exhibits, and fora.

Keywords - Stingless bees distribution; product utilization; pollen sources; pollination

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