LUBDCO (La Union Development Cooperative)                                            
  • Beekeepers Network Philippines Foundation, Inc.
  • Cebu Honeybeekeepers Association (CHAI)
  • PhilBee
  • Beekeepers Association of the Philippines
  • Guinobatan Beekeepers Cooperative
  • Guimaras Beekeepers’ Cooperative
  • Malabanan Multi-purpose Cooperative
  • Panabo Beekeepers Cooperative
  • Philippine Apicultural Foundation
  • Tropical Honeybeekeepers Association
  • Davao Del Sur Beekeepers Multi-purpose Cooperative
  • Kiotoy Multipurpose Cooperative
  • Bicolandia Beeraisers Association
  • Borbon Beekeepers Assn. Inc.
  • Cordillera Beekeepers Assn. Inc.
  • Cordillera Beekeepers Overseas Workers Assn. Inc.
  • Irisan Beekeepers Assn. Inc.
  • Kennon Road Beekeepers Assn. Inc.
  • La Union Beekeepers Assn. Inc.
  • Maco Beekeepers Assn. Inc.
  • Palawan Beekeepers Assn. Inc.
  • Tadiangan Beekeepers and Livelihood Association, Inc.
  • United Beekeepers Assn. Inc.
  • Independent beekeepers
This country has thousands of hectares of sugarcane. But, most sugar farmers are financially broke because of the low price of sugar in the world market. The culture of honeybees should be able to alleviate this situation.

It has also been observed that honeybees visit the sugar mills during milling season. The late Dr. Bongabong, a pioneer in beekeeping once harvested over 10 kilos honey from a wild Apis cerana during the milling season. The bees nestled near a traditional sugar mill in Batangas. This yield is unusual for wild honeybees.

Most, if not all commercial beekeepers of Apis cerana in the southern Philippines feed their bees with refined sugar all year round. They sell comb honey with liquid honey packed in jars.

Some people think any sweeteners that pass through the digestive system of bees are considered natural honey. However, beekeepers of imported (Apis mellifera) species in the Philippines are protesting this method. To them, this kind of honey is artificial and should be labeled as such.

A hectare of a sugarcane farm can produce 80,000 kilos of sugarcane juice with 10 - 15 percent sucrose. Based on these computations, a beekeeper - sugar farmer may be able to harvest 2,600 - 4,000 kilos of honey per hectare. At a wholesale price of Php 100 per kilo, he can gross from Php 266,700 - 400,000 per hectare per year.
Many people enjoy the use of honey and syrup as part of their traditional diet. However, most people tend to make use of these two substances in slightly different ways. That is because honey and syrup are not produced in the same manner. While both honey and syrup are both sweeteners and can be used as an additive with a number of foods, there are some important differences.

Honey is a thick substance that is produced in nature. Created by the interaction of flower nectar with honeybees, honey is a natural sweetener that can be used as an additive to many different types of foods and drinks. Persons who like to use natural sources of nutrition will often make use of honey in place of processed sugars, as well as use it to sweeten a tea or tincture that is made with apple cider vinegar. Honey is often used as an ingredient in baked goods, as a natural sweetener in a number of sauces, and as a means of adding a little extra flavor to such dishes as baked beans.

By contrast, syrup is a processed product. While the basis for syrup is obtained from a number of natural sources, such as sugar cane, maple trees, and even corn or rice, the actual creation of the product rests in the manufacturing process. While it is true that syrup can also be used as an additive in a number of recipes, it is more common for syrup to be used as a topping on a number of different dishes. Often, such breakfast favorites as French toast, pancakes, and waffles are doused with a little butter and syrup. There are also a number of syrups that are produced as a means of adding a little extra flavor to coffee or tea.

Of course, there are also syrups that incorporate honey as one of the ingredients in the mixture. This honey syrup combination usually is employed for specialty foods and drinks, rather than home cooking or baking. In some cases, the syrup honey combination is a way of cutting the content of the processed sweetener in the food item, while still preserving the quality of the taste and the smooth texture that is often created with the use of honey and syrup.

While both honey and syrup are both sweet, and both are used widely, they do vary in both some of the applications used for each substance, as well as in the means used to create each of these tasty and flavorful fluids.





Honeybee hives have long provided humans with honey and beeswax. Such commercial uses have spawned a large beekeeping industry, though many species still occur in the wild.

All honeybees are social and cooperative insects. A hive's inhabitants are generally divided into three types.

Workers are the only bees that most people ever see. These bees are females that are not sexually developed. Workers forage for food (pollen and nectar from flowers), build and protect the hive, clean, circulate air by beating their wings, and perform many other societal functions.

The queen's job is simple—laying the eggs that will spawn the hive's next generation of bees. There is usually only a single queen in a hive. If the queen dies, workers will create a new queen by feeding one of the worker females a special diet of a food called "royal jelly." This elixir enables the worker to develop into a fertile queen. Queens also regulate the hive's activities by producing chemicals that guide the behavior of the other bees.

Male bees are called drones—the third class of honeybee. Several hundred drones live in each hive during the spring and summer, but they are expelled for the winter months when the hive goes into a lean survival mode.

Bees live on stored honey and pollen all winter, and cluster into a ball to conserve warmth. Larvae are fed from the stores during this season and, by spring, the hive is swarming with a new generation of bees.

Honey Production

    Honey bees produce honey.   In order to harvest a good honey crop you must have:

  • good strong hives of healthy bees with good queens

  • favorable weather

  • good locations

  • good bee management techniques

  • and proper equipment


This is a good time to be talking about honey production because we just finished the poorest honey season in many beekeeper's recent memory.   It had nothing to do with the strength of colonies, management techniques, equipment or anything else except for one thing -- weather and growing conditions for nectar producing plants.

If one beekeeper had a poor honey production year and all other beekeepers have good honey production, the problem could be laid at the door step of the beekeeper with the poor honey crop but this was a year that all most all beekeepers reported a shortage of honey in the supers and some even report that the bees have very little winter stores.

This is the reality of keeping bees.  I do a lot of reading and found the following from a beekeeper who kept bees in England in the early part of the 19th century.  "The season, however, it is well-known, was so wet as to be very unfavourable for bees: -- the summer of 1830 was not by any means what is called a Bee-year; and early in the autumn I could see that, instead of adding to their store, they were under the necessity of living upon it."
From Humanity to Honey Bees: or, Practical Directions for the Management of Honey Bees by Thomas Nutt. 1832

This is the reality that all beekeepers live with.  Those who spend their honey crop before it is taken in by the bees can expect to be very disappointed in keeping bees.  You can find in the literature of bee hives collecting several hundred pounds of honey in a season and those reports are correct.  But keep in mind that location and weather conditions have a large bearing on what the bees are able to gather and store.

Instruction on how to get good honey crops are found in most beekeeping text.   However, I am going to present you with my ideas and they may or may not agree with what others tell you.  Since we all develop a particular beekeeping style, we tend to be very protective of the way we keep bees.  Do not hesitate to try something if you feel it will work but if it doesn't work for you, then seek a method that will work.  The modern day beekeeper is struggling with a number of issues.  They are asking questions even of themselves -- questioning their own techniques  and why?  Because today's beekeeper faces heavy bee losses from mites and other diseases.  One of the topics found at bee meetings today is: IPM  (Insect pest management).   No longer are beekeepers able to point to a constant 10 % loss over winter.  Some of them are looking at 50% or more and they are the ones doing everything they can to prevent heavy losses -- medicating the bees etc.

Bees come first

Rather than discussing getting enthusiastic about bees or when one should start with bees or where to find bees, I am going to assume that if you have reached the Beekeeping level 301 and you have already gone thru those steps.   Another thing you will often find in bee books is the amount of money one can make with bees.  Our goal is to present facts, management techniques, and little else.  Honey is a commodity that can easily be sold.  A honey producer has a number of choices on marketing his/her honey and they are discussed in another section of this lesson.

Fact:  Success depends on:

  • Knowledge of honey bee biology - (Colony development - growth, behavior, etc.)

  • Honey bee management for honey production  (the topic of this lesson)

  • Bees and equipment

  • Locations of bee yards


    Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.


    June 2010



    RSS Feed