Beekeeping in Malaysia – Kelantan (The feasibility study Part 2)…………………….
It was a 7 hours drive from Penang to Kota Bahru, Kelantan. The road was challenging with many sharp bends two third of the way. I put on my safety belt after what I had experienced in March. The bus was traveling at 120km on a 70km speed limit road. I just prayed that I can reach there in one piece.
My first visit in Kelantan was the University of Science of Malaysia (Universiti Sains Malaysia). This is where all the research on the medicinal values of honey in Malaysia were done. A number of honeybee species found in Malaysia . Mainly they are the “Apis Dorsata”, “Apis Mellifera”, “Apis Cerenas” and “Trigonas”. Currently they are also working on a type of honey harvested in their traditional honey hunting method by their local people, (Orang Asli). They called it, “TuaLang” honey. I had seen many places selling this brand of honey and they are selling like hot cakes now.
This feasibility study had made me understand more about the honey industry in Malaysia. There were so many issues one can never imagine. There are more to it than meets the eye.
Just going into the second day, I began to see the similarities between Malaysia and Uganda when come to this industry. Honey hunting is still the predominant method used among the local community or the “Orang Asli”. The only difference was that in Malaysia, they need to climb very tall trees (Tualang tree) to harvest honey from Apis Dorsata while in Uganda, honey hunter collect honey from crevices, ant hill and hollow trunks.
Although it was the fasting month and usually this is the most busy part of the year, all the Professors and researchers were very helpful and I left the place with all the information needed for my study. Later in the day I was invited to a local who kept honeybees for their outward bound education camp. Finally after one month, I was introduced to these ladies in Malaysia.
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