Stingless bee honey products to be exported to Middle East

The inside of the stingless bee hive reveals an intricate network of honeycombs filled with honey. - Filepic

KUALA TERENGGANU: The Farmers Organisation Authority (FOA) plans to sell local stingless bee honey or meliponines and its products to the Middle East market.

FOA chairman Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh said the results of a study by FOA showed local stingless bee honey was of good quality and suitable for export.

“There are requests for Malaysian products to be sold in the Middle East and I am confident we can deliver stingless bee honey, ” he said after a visit to the Kuala Terengganu Farmers Association’s (PPK) Stingless Bee project here.

“We hope this stingless bee rearing project will be developed.

“FOA will see what we can do to help it move towards that goal, ” he said.

Terengganu FOA director Mohd Saupee Sudin said it planned to implement a mentor-mentee programme to produce more local entrepreneurs with quality and competitive products, including from among stingless bee entrepreneurs.“We will try to channel allocations for this programme.

“Through this, mentors will be able to provide guidance and inspiration to their mentees to achieve success like them, ” he said.

Known locally as lebah kelulut, the stingless bees’ hive wall is made of propolis (a resinous substance collected from tree buds) whereas honey bees’ hives are made of wax.

Honey produced by the stingless bees reportedly had a higher level of antioxidants.

Saupee also noted that stingless bee honey fetched a higher price than the other types of bee honey.

Stingless bees belong to the family Apidae and are closely related to common honey bees, carpenter bees, orchid bees and bumblebees..

They can be found in most tropical or subtropical regions of the world such as Australia, Africa, Southeast Asia and South America.

In Malaysia, stingless honey bees are largely farmed for their honey, which contributes RM200mil annually to the economy.

Sarawak currently ranks highest in its production, followed by Sabah and peninsular Malaysia. — Bernama

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