Uganda Honey

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Beekeeping in Malaysia – Bangi, KL (The feasibility study Part 5)…………………….

KL to Azman's farm in Bangi

I had an amazing time when I visited Azman, a bee farmer in Bangi, Kuala Lumpur. We started communicating some time last year this time and he knew I was heading to Malaysia this time of the year. He told me I must come visit his apiary and share with me his enthusiasm.

I was really impressed with his achievement and his apiary is the first that I came across that uses Africa beekeeping method, the Kenyan Top Bar hive system. I would not be surprised he is the first in this part of the world that applied top bar beekeeping.

This visit meant a lot to me because on this feasibility study, I wanted and needed to know how api cerana will react to top bar hive method of beekeeping. In Uganda, African honeybees do very well with KTB and I am very familiar with the method. I felt like I was back in Uganda when I approached Azman’s apiary. On top of that, I feel that top bar beekeeping is more economical for the local folks. They do not need to acquire expensive langstroth and to buy European bees to start this enterprise. By the way, the cost of 1 langstroth, comes with bees, cost RM1,800 (US$625). That package provides only the brood box, base board and cover. It does not include the queen-excluder and super. I don’t think many local villagers can afford that kind of money to start the business.

I was greeted by a large plantation of star fruit and I am confident that his bees would have no issues on nectar and pollen source. I saw the bees buzzing happily around the flowers only stopping for a moment when there were about to enter the flowers.

This was his first attempt in keeping bees and I can say that he was already doing it well although there were some pointers that he needed to look into. He had teamed up with his friend, Haniz and both are equally passionate about keeping bees.

Azman and Haniz with their favorite colony.

They started only with one colony. By the time I visited them two days ago, they already had colonized 6 hives. The development of their apiary had set a good example for all. For a start, they did not spend money on buying bees or expensive equipment. They collected used wooden crates and palettes. With no prior experience and based on their own judgment, recycled these planks and palettes into smaller version of the top bar hives. Everything was going through trails and errors. Somehow the bees still found their way to these hives.

When Azman did his first hive, he wanted to see the activities within. He created a glass window on the side of the hive. This had became his observation hive. Very often he would simply open up the side panel to see these lovely ladies working hard.

Api cerana somehow has a bit of her distant cousins (api mellifera scutellata) behaviour. They can be aggressive at times if not handled properly. Azman and Haniz would have to spend more time with them to learn more about their behaviour and to overcome them.

Azman had always wondered how do we handle African honeybees without protective gear. I told him it would be much easier because api cerana or asian bees are not as aggressive as the African cousins. He was pleased when he saw the real thing after having seen my blog during our training program where most of the participants were trained to handle the African honeybees bare hands.

Smaller version of KTB compared to the one I used in Uganda.

Hive with a side glass window panel for easy observation.

Gentle approach is the key to gentle bees.

The joy of handling different species from different part of the world.

The beauty of api cerana.

Azman working on another colony.

A larger version of the observation hive.

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August 23, 2011 - Posted by | apiculture, bee colony, bee hive, Beekeeping, beekeeping journal, beekeeping training, honey, honey harvest, Sustainable Beekeeping | , , , , , ,

23 Comments »

  1. Dear Lesster, it has been my interest since I was a child about bees and the nature of bees of giving life in such an intense manner. My nature of work is completely different than what I am about to do. But lately, the calling to work with bees has been knocking real hard and I can’t help it but to answer this calling and here I am, I found your website and it is the most engaging and something or more precisely someone I can connect with just by reading the work that you’ve done. I really hope to hear from you! Thank you. Regards, Stephanie

    Comment by Stephanie Li Ping Ang | March 9, 2017 | Reply

    • Dear Stephenie,
      Thank you very much for visiting my blog. I am glad that you decide to explore the possibility of working with this wonderful insect.

      I will be back in Singapore end of this month and will be heading to Nepal for another beekeeping project.

      Most likely I will travel to Malaysia in may. Maybe we can arrange to meet then.

      Meanwhile, you can watch this documentary to learn a bit more about my work in Uganda and Rwanda.

      http://video.toggle.sg/en/video/series/a-singaporean-abroad-s3-hd/ep8/360374

      Looking forward

      Best regards
      Lesster

      Comment by Lesster | March 10, 2017 | Reply

  2. Hi En Azman. Your approach in beekeeping is very interesting. I live in Petaling Jaya and have a keep interest in setting up a simple outfit in my home. Would really appreciate if you could revert to by mail. perhaps later a visit. Thank you sir. Singam. t.doraisingam@gmail.com

    Comment by Singam | January 25, 2017 | Reply

  3. greeting, i would like to get in touch with En Azman. can you provide me any contact info or email to reach him.

    Comment by nurzawani binti zulkefli | January 24, 2017 | Reply

  4. Hi Mr Azman, my name is Jet from Puchong. I would like to buy brood box come with bees from you. Kindly contact me asap.
    My email: smjet2010@gmail.com
    My contact no: 012-292 4298

    Thank you

    Comment by Jet | December 27, 2016 | Reply

  5. Salam..Mr Azman.
    I like to make my intership at your place and if you allowed my request can you contact me through my email rex7_shah@yahoo.com. Thank you.

    Comment by sha | May 5, 2016 | Reply

  6. I have a bee hive in my letter box.please who can help me to relocate them.its a honey making type
    Tel 0122549286

    Comment by Choy | April 4, 2016 | Reply

  7. I wanna to contact en azman, can i have his number? nrsfqhkml@gmail.com

    Comment by syafiqah | February 11, 2016 | Reply

  8. I’am also interested to visit En Azman to know more about beekeeping. Can i get his contact no. Thank you very much

    Comment by Jessyln | July 18, 2015 | Reply

  9. Hi goodafternoon en.azman my name is jimmy how can i contact u for visiting your beekeeping farm in bangi?i am from kajang and i used to go bangi lama almost everyday,how can i contact en.azman,can u kindly reply?tq.actually my house got 5 colonies of honey bees and i thought of giving them a better home and learned more about bee.tq en.azman looking forward form your reply.

    Comment by Jimmy | October 20, 2014 | Reply

  10. i am in Penang, Malaysia. I am an owner of organic farm planting variety fruits and vegetables. Recently I discovered at least 3 big bee hives in my farm! Thus, I need some experienced hand to help me to move the bees to a proper location! If you are interested to help, please email me soonest!

    Comment by kim | May 9, 2014 | Reply

  11. This is Daniel from Penang and i would like to contact En Azman to know more about bee keeping. Please leave me email contact.

    Comment by Daniel | August 18, 2013 | Reply

  12. I am interested to do research on bee venom. appreciate if we can get the email and tel no of En Azman

    Comment by suhaila | February 28, 2013 | Reply

  13. how can i contact en azman to know more about beekeeping
    i ca be contacted at 0193229818
    mr low

    Comment by low gee chai | October 13, 2012 | Reply

    • Hi Mr Low, I am also in the process of learning beekeeping. Do you think there is a potential market for beekeeping (honey producing) business in Malaysia? You can contact me on sam.wong.uk@gmail.com

      Comment by Sam Wong | June 3, 2015 | Reply

  14. i’m from a local school in kuala lumpur, and we would like to contact you for our research on apiology. how can we come in contact with you? hope you will reply me ASAP. 🙂 thank you in advance.

    Comment by Melissa | February 28, 2012 | Reply

  15. My friend told me my bees even they come from the same colony as hers are not aggressive (but hers are aggressive)

    I am not a honey producer, I love my bees and want to experiment on bees (behaviour, beehive habitat, …)
    I am planning to change the (simple box) design of the local beekeepers to a top bar design (used in Vietnam and Nepal with apis cerana cerana) so I’m looking for information on how api cerana bees behave. I search internet but cannot find much documentation on it as if no studies were carried out on this specie

    – Will the apis cerana queen lay eggs everywhere in the hive despite the number of top bars I place or should I use a queen extruder to get honey frames ?

    Thanks

    Didier

    Comment by Didier | September 11, 2011 | Reply

    • There are many factors to look at when comes to handling apis cerana. Can you send me some pictures of your colony and your friend’s colony to lessterleow@gmail.com. I would like to see your setup.from there we can explore further. Regards,Lesster.

      Comment by Lesster | September 11, 2011 | Reply

  16. Hello Lesster,
    Am in Hong Kong, beekeeping seems to be taking off and exchanging info with the old local beekeepers is very hard as my friends and I do not speak chinese.
    We are interested in bees for our own consumption and liking of them. But we do not want to become bee murderers and would like to get information on apis cerana behaviours to make them happy and safe.
    Anything you could tell us about it.
    Many thanks

    Comment by Didier | September 10, 2011 | Reply

    • Did you find apis cerana aggressive? I am not sure what do you mean by making them happy and safe. Maybe you can elaborate more. Kind regards, Lesster

      Comment by Lesster | September 11, 2011 | Reply

  17. I would like to get in touch with En Azman of Bangi, Malaysia.
    Could you provide me any email address, tel contact or
    any way I can get in touch with him. I would like to speak to
    him or visit his farm if allowed. I an keen in bee keeping but
    yet to learn more on it before I venture into it. Any
    assistance will be appreciated. Thanks.

    Comment by Belinda Chin | August 31, 2011 | Reply

  18. Great work, Lesster! Good to see you handling a new species!

    Comment by biobee (@biobee) | August 25, 2011 | Reply


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