According to the Steering Committee for Central Highlands, the region is now home to more than half a million beehives.
The hives produce more than 30,000 tonnes of honey a year or approximately 60% of the country’s total output, generating annual export revenue of US$45 million.
Dak Lak province has about 1,500 beekeeping households who keep nearly 200,000 beehives. It ships more than 10,000 tonnes of honey and beeswax each year to dozens of overseas markets, such as the US, Japan, Canada and the Republic of Korea.
Farmer Nguyen Huy Bat in Tan Tien commune, Buon Ma Thuot city of Dak Lak raises 3,000 beehives with about 100 tonnes of honey harvested annually, earning yearly profits of VND2 billion, not including income from other bee products like royal jelly and flower pollen.
The Central Highlands region possess a large area of industrial plants, for example, 573,400 hectares of coffee, nearly 259,000 hectares of rubber trees, and 70,000 hectares of cashew, not to mention natural forest. This has made the region a great place for bee farming.
However, a lot of work needs to be done for the business to become a sustainable livelihood for local people as there is still a limited source of high quality bee varieties and local queen bees are very vulnerable to diseases and pests.
The Steering Committee for Central Highlands has asked state agencies to help the farmers breed bee varieties to create better quality hybrids.
They should also provide beekeepers with knowledge and training on hi-tech breeding methods, advanced techniques of disease prevention, as well as food safety.