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Thursday, March 24, 2016

KELULUT - STINGLESS BEE

KELULUT (Trigona spp) is a stingless bee in Malaysia able to produce Honey. Honey is God’s treasures which provides much of our body’s requirements for vitamins and mineral. Many of us are fond of honey and some have bought fake honey. From Honey Be Association of Malaysia report, about 60% of honey bee in the market are fake honey. Numerous number of ways discussed, especially in blog and youtube, how to identify the real from the fakes. However, today’s technology is advance that it can help formulate honey that it identical to the original product. Not many people able to identify or check the honey bee to authorised lab. To overcome this issue, rearing our own honey bees especially Kelulut is an option to get real honey. Kelulut able to get rid the fear or afraid of being stung. Not many people the advantages of being stung bya honey bee. However some people has problem with the venom from honey bee. There are bee sting death cases that make people afraid to rear honey bee such as Lebah Keran (Apis cerana) or Imported Bee (Apis mellifera). However the wild Lebah Tualang (Apis dorsata) are the most venomus bee found in Malaysia. This bee however only found in jungles and seldom reach our natives. Therefore more people prefers ti rear Kelulut in Malaysia as an alternatives.

Talk about Kelulut or Stingless bee, there are more than 30 species of Trigona (stingless bees) in Malaysia. However only ablout 7 species able to commercialised with modern technology system. Many people can pry open the hive cover and dip a straw into its honey pots in the shape of small balls and have a taste of real honey right from the front door of a honey factory everyday. The most common kelulut domesticated trigona species are Trigona itama, Trigona leviesap and Trigona thoracica. The colony are kept in the log with super hives on the top (See photo). The kelulut honey are stored in the sac containing honey on the top. The peak production of honey are from January to September during dry season. From my observation on many rearing young farmers, ex-farm price for kelulut honey are between RN180.00 - RM200.00 per kilogram. Original Kelultu Honey are considered the most valuable honey in this country. 


Another question ia why you should prefer Trigona over Apis?. From my evaluation it was reported that for kelulut it can have more than 2 queens per colony depending on the season and the species. There are a maximum of 100,000 of worker bees per hive that able to collect nectar. The most interesting part is harvesting that can be direct to the honey stock and you can even suck it into your mouth with a straw. Low probability of absconding for kelulut colony. Even kids can handle the bees because it has no stinger but with the guidance of adults. Kelulut able to assist the crop as good pollinators for flowers and fruit trees because their maximum forage is about 500 meters only. Trigona has 60 working day life as compared to 50 of Apis. Hive maintenance for kelulut is minimum with for hive inspection can be done every 3 to 4 months. So far threre is no hive medication is needed and able to be claimed as Organic Honey. However from my observation the most chalanging issue are the cases of colony robbing. Those who interested to be a kelulut farmers can attend training organised by Department of Agriculture or private companies throughout years. Thanks.
By,
M Anem,
Kg Chendor Kelulut Farms,
Kuantan, Pahang.
Malaysia.
(16 JamadilAkhir 1437H)

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