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  • Dad Earns P80,000 Harvesting Pure Honey From His Bee Colony In Metro Manila

    He's even expanded to other locations!
    by Kitty Elicay .
Dad Earns P80,000 Harvesting Pure Honey From His Bee Colony In Metro Manila
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Alexis Dela Cuesta
  • Dad Alexis Dela Cuesta first became fascinated with bees thanks to his daughter, Nea Deborah, whose second name means “bee” in Hebrew. For her daughter’s first birthday party, he and his wife Sheila came up with a “bee-themed” activity that the guests can play while the party is happening.

    The game, called “Sting A Win,” eventually became a board game that is now being sold internationally in countries like Singapore, United Kingdom, Australia, and Venezuela. But Alexis’ love for bees did not stop there.

    After attending an urban beekeeping seminar in Batangas, Alexis was convinced that he had to raise his own bee colony. The only problem: They live in a busy neighborhood in Manila.

    “Hindi ako makatulog. I told my wife, ‘Hon, kailangan mag-alaga rin tayo ng bubuyog. Gusto kong subukan.’ Sabi niya, saan ka mag-aalaga? Urban tayo,” Alexis recalls.

    How to start beekeeping in the Philippines

    Beekeeping is surprisingly possible even if you live in the city, as long as an expert beekeeper is able to survey the location and determine that the colonies will be able to thrive there.

    Alexis also had to inform their neighbors about his plans. Of course, many were apprehensive, but after he gave his assurance and promised that he would be responsible in case something happens, he was able to bring home his bee colonies without a problem.

    “Thank god, there have been no complaints,” he shares.

    How to earn from beekeeping

    Alexis started urban beekeeping on January 15, 2019. He bought two colonies for Php8,500 each (around 20,000 bees in total).

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    It turns out beekeeping can also become a profitable business. According to Alexis, if you invest Php15,000 for a bee colony, including the tools and basic equipment, you can earn around Php36,000 per honey flow season, assuming you are able to harvest 30 kilos of pure honey per colony and sell it at around Php1,200 per kilo. For two bee colonies, you can earn between Php70,000 to Php80,000.

    When Alexis first started, he was able to harvest a total of 58 kilos from May to June 2019 — four months after taking his bees home. Currently, the dad takes care of his bees in three locations: Paranaque, Caloocan, and Manila.

    His wife also trained in soap making. When their daughter developed atopic dermatitis, Sheila thought of making soap that is natural and free of chemicals for her. Eventually, she decided to sell it as a way of making additional income.

    Aside from pure honey, Alexis and Sheila also sell soap, shampoo, and lotion with beeswax as a natural ingredient for their products.

    Pure honey offers a lot of health benefits thanks to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, apoptotic, and antioxidant properties. But, according to Alexis, there’s a lot of fake honey being sold in the market.

    His advice? “Buy from your trusted beekeeper, someone you know really keeps bees and doesn’t adulterate what they sell in the market.”

    Want to try urban beekeeping? Watch the video below to see how Alexis takes care of his bees and how you can raise a colony yourself!

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