Issue of June 21, 2020
     
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Research needs of beekeepers: Glimmer of hope
ALVIN AYUGAT, Bauko, Mountain Province

As facts NOW prevail over myths, so too shall confidence in sustainable beekeeping.

Viability impressed but fixation in honey profit passé, investors will rush in to be part of noble gains. This will sustain thrusts to vibrant vegetation, food sufficiency, and inherent pre-emptive measures for pesticide-free plant management for a healthy populace resistant to ailments.

Incidentally, prominent personalities currently or once connected with beekeeping allied agencies are enjoined to be part of the honey production challenge. The advantage in production of beekeepers in the Cordillera should encourage them to do so. With financial resources and knowledge, they should invest liberal amounts because of the promise of return of investment.

These experts, owing to their impressive academic credentials and accolades, should serves as influencers. This will not only provide them opportunities for financial gain but will also let them feel the situation on the ground. The propriety of studies conducted, technologies developed, and interventions implemented during respective tenures are intended to “get the industry into lucrative level.” 

The ability of National Apiculture Research, Training and Development Institute (Nartdi) to maintain the industry’s integrity is lacking and practitioners are hampered by limited resources, corruption, and excessive politicking.

The efforts of people on the ground, “the sustainable beekeepers-cum honey producers,” should be supported through localized decision-making.

Simultaneously, the government must provide data, equipment, training, and related support to the industry. The practitioners’ preferred methods guarantee relevant, pertinent, and responsive answers to situations on the ground.

In addition to technical support, political pressure will be required to encourage all, and state agencies are called to craft and enforce appropriate laws and control strategies to prohibit non-officials from interfering in strategies and their means of delivery.

Until such control and implementation strategies are in place – amid continuing conflicts – parties with vested interests will speculate.

It is also important to foster the ideal working environment that would stimulate increase in honey production and shift to organic farming for optimum agricultural productivity and vibrant forest vegetation.

Relevant beekeeping research answers the question: Will the study increase honey production? The indisputable gauge in knowing if interventions are responsive could be seen when plant handlers would seek bee colonies, even offer pollination contracts, to be integrated into plantations, especially when flowers bloom.

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