In BfDJ 65 Horst Wendorf described his work as technical expert on the beekeeping development project in the Mount Kanla-on area of Negros Island in the Philippines. This is a comprehensive double DVD account of the project. The introduction explains that in rural areas, one in two families live below the poverty line. Almost all the indigenous tropical forest has been destroyed for seasonal crop cultivation – coconut, coffee, sugar and tobacco. With the forests protected there was a need to restore biodiversity and to assist households who depend on the natural resources – beekeeping was high on the list.
Of the known indigenous honey bee species in the Philippines, only Apis cerana can be kept in hives. The annual honey yield per colony of Apis cerana is 4-5 kg per year. Introduced Apis mellifera honey bees yield over 20 kg per colony and this species was chosen for the project. How the bees were brought to the island, the imported equipment, subsequently renewed by local craftspeople, and training given to the new beekeepers are described.
DVD 2 first discusses queen rearing and then harvesting and marketing. This project is similar to many others in that the quantity of locally produced honey is always less than demand. Only honey was a successful product. The beekeepers became content that the pollen they collected was sufficient to feed their bees during the monsoon season.
A party featuring The Biak Na Bato Band whose rhythms accompany the whole film, is followed by a solemn chapter on pests and diseases, especially the extensive and costly treatments required against Varroa. In conclusion, prospects and lessons learned from the project close this interesting and thought raising account.
2003 80 minutes Set of two 2 DVDs