Pekan Nenas B40 families benefit from varsity’s stingless bee project

Munirah (third from right) at the house of a participant involved in UiTM’s stingless bee project in Kampung Melayu Raya, Pekan Nenas, Pontian.

TWELVE B40 families from Kampung Melayu Raya, Pekan Nenas in Pontian, Johor, are benefitting from a stingless bee initiative by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Johor.

UiTM Pasir Gudang campus Applied Science Chemistry Department senior lecturer Munirah Onn said the project, dubbed “Bee Friendz”, was aimed at helping the families earn an income during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Stingless bees are excellent pollinators and do not require special care.

“Participants collect the honey once every month from two hives of stingless bees.

“They can either sell it in its raw form or use the honey to produce items such as soap or lip balm,” she said when contacted.

She said the bees were housed in built hives at the participants’ homes.The families have been taught how to care for the bees, harvest the honey and make by-products, besides being educated on its nutritional content.

“We have given each family two beehives to manage, and we hope this will alleviate some of their financial burden during the pandemic,” said Munirah.

She said a RM10,000 allocation was received from Johor Education Foundation (YPJ) under the first phase of the project from March 2020 to July 2021.

“Five families are involved in the project.

“For the project’s second phase from July this year to July 2022, we received an allocation of RM12,000 from YPJ, and seven families are involved,” she said.

Each family is able to earn between RM200 and RM300 per month and 16 UiTM students have been roped in to help them market the honey and other products. — By REMAR NORDIN

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