KOTA MARUDU: For Jabal Singkamung, a resident of Kampung Sonsogon Magandai, rearing stingless bees started as a hobby but is now a source of income.
The 50-year-old, who lives in a village some 58km from Kota Marudu town, earned between RM800 and RM1,500 monthly from the sale of kelulut honey.
Jabal said he started keeping the bees three years ago after he found many kelulut beehives in the forest near his village.
Based on the knowledge he acquired from a workshop organised by the Village Development Cooperative (KPD), he and other villagers started to keep the bees at their house compounds.
“I have 10 kelulut hives. The honey collected is sold to wholesalers in Kota Marudu town at RM40 to RM60 per bottle,” he said.
He said wild kelulut honey was sold between RM70 and RM200 per bottle.
Jabal, who is also the village head, said 25 Sonsogon Dusun families in their settlement were working on the kelulut bee farm project.
He said more villagers were expected to participate in the bee breeding project as the insects are easily found near their homes which is surrounded by jungle.
Another villager, Solboy Majudin, 48, said breeding bees was now his main source of income.
He said the challenge in keeping the bees was to find its hive in the forest which is surrounded by snakes, hornets and other jungle honey bees.
The project was also extended to Pitas and Matunggong districts after it was found to be successful.
The Department of Agriculture through KPD has also opened the Borneo Honeybee Centre in Sikuati, Kudat, a neighbouring district of Kota Marudu.
The centre collects, processes and bottles the honey.
They also hold bee farming courses. — Bernama