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BAI Conducts Intro to Basic Backyard Beekeeping Seminar

Written by Mary Anne Macaoay with references from Kathleen Rae Hopia
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As a response to its mandate which includes promotion of apiculture development, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) conducted a seminar on Introduction to Basic Backyard Beekeeping on April 28 to 29, 2014 at the National Artificial Breeding Center (NABC), BAI, Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.

Group photo of the activity participants, BAI key players and facilitators at the BAI Apiary. 

The seminar aims to provide the attendees with knowledge on beekeeping and how to start a honeybee industry.  About twenty participants composed of prospective entrepreneurs and hobbyists from the private sector and key personnel including soon to be retirees from the government service attended the said activity.

Dr. Paul C. Limson, Officer-in-Charge of the Livestock Development Division cited the Republic Act 10611, “An Act to Strengthen the Food Safety Regulatory System in the Country to Protect Consumer Health and Facilitate Market Access of Local Foods and Food Products, and for Other Purposes” which was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III  on August 23, 2013.In Article V, Section 16, Specific Responsibilities of the Department of Agriculture (DA)it was stated that the BAI is mandated to perform food safety regulatory functions for food derived from animals including eggs and honey productionThis strengthens earlier issuance of the DA  Administrative Order(AO) No. 14, series of 2012,  “Promoting the Development of Apiculture or Honeybee Industry Including Its Official Controls and Regulatory Requirement Under the Bureau of Animal Industry”. With this AO, the BAI was tasked to: 1)Promote the development of apiculture in coordination with Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University – National Apiculture Research, Training and Development Institute (DMMMSU–NARTDI) and other beekeepers and stakeholders; 2) Support the development of an Apiculture Road Map and integrate its annual work and financial plan within the National Livestock Program; and 3) Formulate appropriate official controls and quarantine measures based on international  standards. This AO also directs the transfer of any existing honey bee quarantine activity from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) to the BAI.

The following topics were discussed during the seminar: History of Beekeeping, Economic Importance, Origin and Distribution of Honeybee Species, Honeybee Colonies/ Life Cycle/ Colony Caste, Bee Furniture and Equipment, Starting Your Own Bee Colony, Seasonal Management of Honeybee Production, Payback/ Honey Harvestand Bee Movie/ Film Showing.

Aside from the intensive lectures, appreciation of honey & hands-on activities in the Apiary(BAI Beekeeping Demo Project) such as proper handling of bees, brood manipulation, honey harvesting and  honey extraction were conducted.

Dir. Cresencio shows one bee frame to the activity participants during the hands-on honey harvesting

Mr. Albee D. Marcia who has been involved in beekeeping since 1980, shared his experiences and expertise as the activity Resource Person.

Started on October 15, 2013, the demo project on raising honeybees (Apis mellifera L.)has yielded fifty one(51) kilos of honey out of the twenty one(21) frames on its initial harvest. According to Mr. Marcia, an average of 2.43 kilos per frame was noted in the first harvest which is quite higher than the usual average per frame of1.5 kilos.

In her closing remarks, BAI Acting Director Dr. Rubina O. Cresencio, expressed the Bureau’s commitment to provide support in the form of technical assistance to those who plan to venture on beekeeping. 

 

BAI Director awards certificate of participation and  sample of honey harvested from the demo project to one of the participants from the private sector.

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