I am working on my dream of a small agriculture school for children and young adults in Mondulkiri province Cambodia, which was recently rainforest but now regrettably cleared. It is one of the few places in Southeast Asia where wild elephants are still found. The Bunong people, part of the hill tribes group of indigenous people in Southeast Asia will be the beneficiaries of training. Training will be in Beekeeping, extensive poultry production using forage pasture with breed improvement by selection and horticulture of annual, medicinal and perennial crops. Permaculture guides our operating philosophy.
- Permaculture Poultry production which only requires minor tweaks to traditional methodology to become very profitable to beneficiaries.
- Horticulture- nursery and crops
Permaculture Beekeeping in Cambodia
A great deal of interest is now being shown in keeping bees in Cambodia due to the tremendous success of this industry in Vietnam, which has identical ecological conditions to some provinces in Cambodia and the very high price ( circa USD 20/kg ) of pure natural honey in local markets.
Generally, most of the honey available in Cambodia is from wild sources gathered from Apis cerana, florea, and dorsata bees, native to the region.
The product is gathered by honey hunters in an unsustainable way and is heavily adulterated with water and palm sugar.
While some attempts at culture of Apis dorsata have been made, this species is not very amenable to management due to it’s migratory nature.
The European honey bee, Apis mellifera and it’s subspecies are very well adapted to tropical Asia with appropriate terrain, floral sources, and the ability to move the bees seasonally.
One of our associates has built up 90 hives in a period of only 14 months that are thriving and producing surplus, The range of expected surplus for an average well managed colony can be expected to be circa 50 KG per annuum.
-By fostering bee keeping as a lucrative livelihood for a large number of landless and economically deprived people, a financial incentive to preserve and restore the native flora can be clearly demonstrated and a clear economic case can be demonstrated at grass roots level. Given the example of the industry in Vietnam, Apiculture can be shown to be a potentially important export industry, with clear benefits to the practitioners and the economy as a whole.
–A major constraint is the lack of hardware available to practise apiculture in Cambodia. Many of the simple components such as hive bodies, bottoms, and lids can easily be fabricated locally providing a source of employment at a competitive price.
Other requirements can be cheaply imported from Vietnam, and one of our associates already engages in this business; we are in the process of making equipment available nation wide on this site
–Training has until now been lacking with only a few sporadic and unsustained efforts by NGO’s to introduce beekeeping locally. We offer 1 day introductory courses in both Khmer and English at very reasonable prices. Ignorance of suitable honey flora is also an issue with some of the previous attempts at introducing colonies into rice paddy areas and no provision to move the stocks onto suitable honey flora resulting in 100% dead out of stocks.
– Suitable stocks– until recently there were very few colonies of Apis mellifera present in Cambodia. Now there are sufficient colonies present with stock for sale that have some local adaptation having passed through Thailand and Vietnam, thus producing a degree of adaptation to local conditions.
–Pathogens– Varroa (parasitic mite) is endemic to Cambodia, along with Nosema. While AFB and EFB are so far unreported, it can be expected that both are present. Knowledge of how to treat these problems, and the remedies will be addressed in training programs. The presence of these pathogens mean that non native honeybees will never become an invasive species locally.
I need your financial help to provide the infrastructure to build the facility and provide a permanent presence.