Rolan B. Aldovino | Pedro Jose L. De Castro | Benilda N. Villenas
The purpose of this research is (1) to identify the native bees used by the Aeta for food, trade and medicine; (2) to examine the practices involving collecting and harvesting of native bees; and (3) to discern the perception of the natives in developing a sustainable apiculture program for them. The research is descriptive in approach and used qualitative methods in gathering data. It primarily used interviews and group discussions among the natives to get the needed information to satisfy the objectives of the study. Field visits were done in different schedules in each location for data collection. Forage expeditions were also done to have first-hand observation of honey hunting practices. The practices were captured in video and photos to retain objectivity and details. Ethnography is used to describe the traditional knowledge concerning the honey hunting and collection, and the methods of processing, packaging and selling honey among the natives of the two communities. Study shows that both groups of indigenous people of the two communities in Alabat-Lopez and in Tayabas recognize and use three species of native honey bees for subsistence. However, they have no basic bee biology understanding and they are also not familiar to the foraging behavior of bees. Honey is seen by the Aeta as the most productive by-product of the bees. Hunting for honey is not a special activity for both groups. They engage in such activity whenever they are foraging the forest for other purposes. Honey hunting and collection practices among the Aeta are rudimentary. They use very simple and limited technology in gathering honey combs and extracting honey from the combs. They also have very simple or even no protective and safety gears in gathering honeycombs and honey. Both groups have no knowledge or experience in beekeeping but both responded positively to learning technologies relating to apiculture. They both see beekeeping as a great economic opportunity based on its potentials.