Beekeeping is not only a venture which ensures the production of honey and other by-products for it also helps in the improvement of agricultural productivity through crop pollination.
|A worker honeybee collecting food from the flower of honeydew melon.|
In 2012, through the initiatives of Mr. William RP. Jones, farm agronomist of the Golden Acres Farm Incorporated (GAFI) based at Barrio Tipas, Taguig City, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Crop Pollination Services was conceived with NARTDI.
|Honeydew melon plantation of the Golden Acres Farm Incorporated at Brgy. Cabaroan, San Juan, La Union|
It was stipulated in the MOU that GAFI shall rent a farm, shall provide inputs such as planting materials, fertilizers, pesticides and others. Likewise, GAFI shall also be in-charge of the crop production management. As a counterpart, NARTDI shall provide the honeybee colonies which will serve as agents of pollination.
|(L/R) Dr. Apolonio S. Sito, Mr. William Jones, Mr. Rodolfo Nillo, Dr. Jaime C. Dangle during the monitoring of NARTDI and the DMMMSU-URE.|
GAFI’s interest to this service was sustained because of the first successful project completed at Barangay Cabaroan, San Juan, La Union in a four-hectare muskmelon plantation. There were five strong standard honeybee colonies brought adjacent to the farm before melon’s blooming season which eventually increased the harvest of muskmelon.
|(L/R) Dr. Lolita S. Dulay, Mr. Arvin C. Tuyan, Mr. David T. de Castro during the inspection of the pollination colonies of the GAFI at Brgy. Leet Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan|
For the second time, another request from GAFI for pollination service was undertaken at Barangay Leet, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan. In here, twenty three colonies were brought to serve as pollinators in the seventeen-hectare honeydew plantation.
|Set-up pollination colonies at Brgy. Leet, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan.|
However, due to the severe infestation of predatory birds that sapped field colonies, NARTDI pulled out and saved the remaining bees in weak colonies.On the other hand, this year, the Known-You Seed Philippines Incorporated (KYSPI) located at Alcala, Pangasinan headed by Mr. Neo Wang also requested the same service within a 2,500 m2 greenhouse. The Institute provided two strong colonies for the pollination of tomatoes, watermelons, bitter gourds, bottle gourds, sponge gourds and sweet corns.
|Harvested honeydew melon as a result of pollination at GAFI farm Brgy. Leet, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan.|
This service is being offered by NARTDI which serves as a pilot project to assess its effects and promote its significance. Utilization of honeybees for crop pollination services is not yet prevalent in the country due to limited information dissemination and lack of awareness on its benefits. With this, the Institute’s staff works hand-in-hand to make this service a considerable factor in the advancement of agricultural sustainability.