THE Benguet State University-Cordillera Regional Apiculture Center (BSU-CRAC) continuously provides technical assistance on colony management to support the maintenance and sustainability of local apiaries. This extension program is in response to the need for the beginning beekeepers with limited knowledge and hands-on skills on colony operations.

At present, the center caters to various beekeepers with apiaries in Baguio City, La Trinidad, and Tublay, Benguet. The technical assistance provided is hive inspection, bee brood and food monitoring, colony health check, colony splitting, queen rearing, and other apiary activities.

Recipients of the program are individuals who opt to start managing bee colonies. They are trainees from the basic and/or advance beekeeping training conducted by the center who are from the communities, public and private organizations, and academe in the region. The CRAC conducts training on beekeeping since 2013 thus, the implementation of the program would serve as a more practical application of the knowledge the trainees have acquired. Leo E. Kimbungan, CRAC staff, stated that this initiative supports the apiculture in the region.

The technical assistance services of the Center would help new beekeepers employ proper colony operations that are necessary towards the sustainability and productivity of their bee colonies. The program likewise serves as an avenue for knowledge and skills sharing until the new beekeepers are equipped with colony activities. “They will learn the necessary skills when they engage in the practice. To help them, they have to request assistance for the colony operations that they could not yet do alone while they are starting to establish their colonies,” he shared. Kimbungan, however, noted that the assistance prioritizes the newbies. Schedules of assistance for the recipients are set depending on the needed aid especially that they reside in different locations.

Meanwhile, this assistance also includes the removal of wasp colonies that are near the bee colony location or apiary. These bees are predators of honey bees. Also, wasp colonies found in residential areas can be requested to the center to be removed since they can cause harm by stinging. (Cordillera Regional Apiculture Center)