Bees in Cambodia benefit poor people and agriculture.
Since 2014 I have been providing training for Beekeeping in Cambodia for NGO’s, Khmer small farmers, and commercial farms funded by my own web design enterprise.
Training for Beekeeping and extensive poultry production using forage pasture with breed improvement by selection and horticulture of annual, medicinal and perennial crops. Eco Agriculture guides our operating philosophy.
Three streams to enhance livelihood
These activities are of proven benefit across three continents:
- Permaculture Poultry production which only requires minor tweaks to traditional methodology to become very profitable to beneficiaries.
- Horticulture- nursery and crops
Bee keeping 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. All three native species can be significantly assisted by provision of forage trees and understory which have additional collateral benefits to humans. The enhancement of native bee populations provide enormous benefit to humans due to pollination of crops.
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. The presence of the parasitic Varroa mite means A. mellifera is unable to become an invasive species.
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 practice 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.
Awareness of Bees and Benefits is very high among Khmer People
Training is readily accepted by local people and creates a high degree of excitement and enthusiasm. A collective approach is culturally suitable as a community building enterprise in the longer term. It should be noted that ongoing support through extension services is key to success.