Honey of Stingless Bee

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Stingless bee (Tetragonula biroi Friese) honey typically has a golden to amber colour and a slightly floral aroma. Its taste is often described as mild and slightly tangy, with varying degrees of sweetness depending on the nectar sources the bees used. The texture is smooth and less viscous compared to honey from other bees. In terms of size and weight, stingless bee honey is usually packaged in small containers and can vary, but it’s generally lighter than honey from other bee species due to its lower water content. These bees are available in tropical and subtropical regions specially in Cavite Philippines with rich biodiversity where it provides diverse flora that the stingless bees rely on for nectar and pollen. The seasonality of honey production varies depending on the local climate, with peak production occurring during the rainy seasons when flowers bloom abundantly.
Stingless bee honey carries rich cultural and historical significance, often tracing its origins back to indigenous and local traditions. This honey has been a part of human history for centuries, playing diverse roles in culinary, medicinal, and ritualistic practices. The responsibility for growing, raising, handling, and processing stingless bee colonies and their honey is often entrusted to specific community members with specialized knowledge. Traditional methods include using hollow logs, clay pots, or specially designed wooden boxes as hives. These structures mimic the bees’ natural nesting preferences.
Harvesting of honey is a delicate process. It’s typically done by experienced beekeepers who carefully open the hive and extract the honey pots without harming the colony. Its colonies have limited honey storage, so only a small portion of the honey can be collected without affecting the bees’ survival.
Processing techniques of this honey usually involve minimal intervention to preserve its natural qualities. The honey may be gently filtered to remove impurities and debris, but it’s not subjected to high heat like some commercial honey processing methods. This ensures that the honey retains its unique flavour, aroma, and potential health benefits.
Overall, the cultivation, husbandry, harvesting, and processing of stingless bee honey are deeply intertwined with the local ecosystem, climate, and traditional practices, contributing to the distinct character of this honey variety.
Stingless bee honey is consumed year-round and holds cultural significance in various regions. It’s often used in traditional recipes and is frequently incorporated into religious ceremonies, weddings, and celebratory events. Medicinally, stingless bee honey is believed to possess health benefits in some cultures. It’s used for its potential antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It has been used as a natural remedy for sore throats, coughs, and digestive issues.
Stingless bee honey is at risk of disappearing due to habitat loss, less production and specialized knowledge for processing. It requires to focused on their habitat biodiversity and promotion and awareness about the cultural and ecological importance of these bee honey can garner support for its protection. However, by addressing these challenges and taking proactive measures, stingless bee honey can be preserved for future generations, allowing both cultural heritage and biodiversity to thrive.

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Nominated by:Christ Mark T. Bergonio