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,
Kg Chendor Kelulut Farms,
(16 JamadilAkhir 1437H)