June 1, 2023

Research needs of beekeepers: Not all honeys are the same

Health and wellness potentials are reasons why products produced by bees are patronized, despite the price.
Preference to use wild honey over “cultured” hastens the demise of indigenous bee species and destruction of forests.
Touted as a super food and said to induce fertility and a cure-all, products produced by bees may indeed have antidotes to mysterious global ailments.
The main hive products like honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis, wax and venom are concocted as potions or derivatives are formed in combination with non-hive items.
Although scarce and cost more than ordinary sweeteners, honey is bought because of its perceived therapeutic potencies. But such claims must be backed by studies, lest it gives false hopes.
People with lingering ailments believe everything. Despite conventional treatments, people opt for alternative remedies.
Merchants promote bee products ala Mang Kepweng replete with cheap marketing ploys. If only people take time to discern. The promised “pampa” puti, kinis, tagal, tigas, tangkad, haba, etc. by glib-tongued opportunists, determined in selling anything bereft of scientific proof, make people fall easily.
Promotional gimmicks outnumber facts. Profit-motivated businessmen capitalize on peoples’ frailties, ignorance, desperation, and financial difficulties yet science-based medicinal information and formulations pale in comparison to obvious “magical” outcome testimonies.
These claims suggest that the government is not serious about the need for research.
Within this context, the National Apiculture Research, Training, and Development Institute and satellite centers, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources authorities should work together to prevent the proliferation of misleading information about the most efficient yet fast declining pollinators and products.
Honey hunting of feral bees, supposed producers of wild honey, is destructive because the brood (egg to pupa stages) is taken all together; the life and limb of honeybee hunters are also endangered because nests are suspended at cliffs or high tree branches; and are cause of forest fires, due to unsuppressed embers left of smokers, in the hunters’ haste to avoid returning bees.
For a start, hive products’ contents maybe identified by chemists and interpreted by nutritionists.
Every well-meaning beekeeper dreams of promoting their product but keeping the public continuously groping in the dark, are the delight of enterprising merchants. — ALVIN AYUGAT, Bauko, Mountain Province

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