Pablo just wondering if you have heard of Britzie Bees in Pampanga ?
Britzie, I do not know, but then, I am stuck on my little island, not
coordinating apiaries in Philippines
Good news we called up Britzie bees last night and spoke with Francis.
They are located in Angels very close to my house there.
They can provide me with nuc’s and hands on training on the farm in Isabela .
We have arranged to meet on 17th after we arrive.
Seems they are involved in an NGO that promotes bee keeping to farmers and are keen to go with us in Isabela and help me set up the hives and train us in how to manage them.
Good news for you.
It just shows how fragmented beekeeping is in Philippines and knowledge is
spread over so many different people & institutions while in the UK,
Holland, Germany (and I think also US), we have a single overarching
organisation coordinating activities and that organisation often also has
some kind of authority to limit the spread of diseases by issuing binding
instructions. I do not know how it is elsewhere, but in Holland, I know
that if I buy honey from a beekeeper who attached to that organisation (and
they invariably all are), then I get real honey because the beekeepers
visit each other, meet each other and inspect each others hives and would
motivate members who overfeed their bees or use chemicals which are not
permitted. Thus ensuring quality and health. This contrary to Philippines
bee-scene where coaching is always done “at a fee and for profit” and
knowledge is considered “power”, so associations are rare. Everybody has
it’s own website (Facebook?) and new initiatives are not coordinated.
Especially from NGO’s, I hope we can get some help to coordinate activities
The Pin0y Beekeepers forum
http://www.pinoybeekeepersforum.com/forums/YaBB.pl was an initiative
where beekeepers can use a forum to exchange experience and even advertise.
Obviously, it is the way to go becuase you can bring structure in the
information and not just dump it into the Facebook swamp. It is not used
nearly efficient nor wide enough.It has a map
with Pinoy beekeepers which I think is brilliant as you could easily
identify beekeepers and their activities in any area. Why not use it?
Well, many people only use Facebook, because Zuckerberg is trying to
monopolize social media in poor countries, but also because people do not
want to share information. I think the latter is the most important and
NGO’s should make more use of it and promote it. Not having locations for
suppliers and beekeepers ofcourse allows several individuals to promote
"their business" which may sound OK, but as there is no competitions, we
are very limited to supplies. And I have not seen open pricelists
(normally: “just PM me for prices”) so we cannot easily compare and
therefore beeks are very limited.
We do not have an inventory of needs for beekeepers. There are many
beekeepers, very small, medium and bigger. What do they need and how can we
help them? We do not even have an inventory.
No testing possible, universities do not have a protokol and are not
certified (as far as I know) and there are records of complete manipulation
of data (or incompetency: a local lab claimed that some imported bees were
sick while another sample send to a European lab showed that the bees were
I see that many local beekeepers feed lots of sugar, hell they need to live
as well and pay for their very expensive materials and queens. But that
ain’t no honey.
I see that some beekeepers in other area’s do not feed at all and why
should they, if they can get 100 kg of honey per hive, that is good
Imagine a conversation on Facebook where a university mentions that they
found SHB and is discussing with the owner to maybe, please do something
about it. While Downunder, penalty for failing to notify is $11,000, the
pest is spreading nicely in Philippines because the owner does not want to
do anything and the university does not want to issue a warning because it
could do damage to the reputation of the beek involved and probably causing
untold damage to the beek community.
Killing beeks in Philippines: Why buy expensive honey when you can get
cheap honey from
Well, the DA takes no action. Oh sorry, they do, they got rid of CEM’s
honey in the supermarket which immediately re-appeared under different
names, just a bit more expensive because “now it is real honey”.
Many people offer training. Most are not certified, many only offer basic
information and many use it to link the would-be-beekeeper to their farm
for the provision of supplies. Instead of promoting beekeeping in
Philippines and providing links to all other organisations, farmers and
So, if you see Britzie, and he is linked to NGO’s, maybe he has some idea’s.
As I said, it looks like a rant, but I cannot get my apiary going like we
would if the blockers were not there. I will not give up, but I would like
to spread beekeeping to local villages as a livelihood project, but if I
cannot even get my own apiary going effectively, poor farmers will not
stand a chance. But some NGO’s promoted beekeeping, provided “training” and
starter NUC’s and after a few years, there is nothing left of the apiary.
Money wasted but no bees and even more GMO corn planted. And that pisses me
off because the sea around me is dying and the hills will become bare in a
few years… I afford myself the price (total) of P 2500 per queen, but a
local farmer cannot. And I am working with the LGU to make certain area’s
organic, but that is a 10-year plan and actually, as it is Philippines, I
do not give them a realistic chance (but I will not give up trying). But an
overarching organization might get the DENR and DoA so far to get action
and set examples.
I hope that one NGO will see the light and that is not training people on
bees and providing them with NUC’s, it is doing an inventory of beekeeping
in Philippines and setting up an organisation to support beekeepers and
OK, I will stop here and hope to hear from you after you got trained.
Starting a three day seminar today in Angeles City orginised by the local beekeepers co-op they have some American and PH beekeepers who are the instructors.
Cost 3,000 peso for three days.
Finished the first days training and wow Pablo these people are of the same mindset and recognise the problems facing beekeepers in PH . i am very happy i was able to connect with this group of people who have the right attitude and intentions.
hello everyone, just want to ask where to buy flow hive in the philippines…im interested to have at least one, thanks
The only place you can buy a genuine Flow hive at the moment is directly from Flow on their web site. It looks like shipping to Philippines is $49 for a complete hive kit (no bees).
You will need to get bees locally, and there are several people on this forum who know how to do that.
thank you so much for your response,…
Hi … I just joined … I’m an Aussie who has lived in the Philippines for 20+ years and I am about to start a Bee Farm in Negros Oriental … This was an amazing discussion and I have encountered a lot of the issues mentioned over last 7 months whilst trying to get started …
AS of now, I had 4 Brood Hives (full Super) ordered but the supplier backed out of the deal … I used to live in Pampanga for many years … but I have no way to get Nucs to Southern Negros as far as I know …
I would welcome any suggestion or ideas to get 4-6 Nucs … I have everything else except for the bees …
Negros is a great place for bees.
You can get nucs from Baguio, Edmund can probably help you there, he also
can provide the paperwork that you can take the hives on a plane. Message
me on gmail or facebook and i will give you the details.
Thanks for the above information ( with @pablo). I’ve recently started up a small hobby farm in Aurora and got a couple of Flow Hives and wanted to get more information on training (ehhh have Zero beekeeping experience!) so i’ve emailed the guys in Baguio as suggested above - but wanted to know how you found your training? And how are your bees and farm doing now?
Do you have the contacts of the people you did your training with please?
Thanks in advance
How is your Flow Hive going?
Have you harvested any honey yet?
We haven’t had too much feedback from the Philippines, so I am curious to see how you are going there
Thanks for asking.
I have bought the flow a year too early, i am still in the process of
splitting my hives. I went from 2 to 12 hives now and by this time next
year, i hope to have my 2 flows operational. Never mind, living on a small
island in Philippines means that I have to think ahead several years
anyway, so I am used to this. But, i tried to use the Flow for a month but
the bees refused the plastic. Luckily there are enough suggestions on the
forum for next time when I need it in earnest.
Lessons learned so far:
-1. Get the Flows via a Balikbayan Box from Australia, otherwise the
customs will cause huge problems, they do not understand beekeeping and
will involve other authorities which would result in a mess.
Considering the transport/customs issues, i would strongly suggest to
purchase the Flow Supers only and use Filipino broodboxes to limit the
import volume and thereby not raise any alarm flags for the Balikbayan
-2. Philippines uses 10 frame Langstroth as standard. Use that instead of
the suggested 8 frame flows.
-3. Paint the Flows with polyurethane paint or marine epoxy. In the salty
island environment, the oiled wood rapidly deteriorates while the painted
parts probably “lasts forever”.
-4. Take your time setting up your apiari first and order the Flow Supers
when the end of splitting comes in sight.
-5. It is very easy to order the Chinese knockoff in Philippines. There are
fewer customs issues when ordering from China. It is a pity, but fact of
life living here. It could be a help if Flow offers potential Philippine
customers to ship via Balikbayan Box at customer request. Look at the
Internet for local Balikbayan shippers in Australia or wherever you send
the stuff from.
-6. I am using the Apivox Auditor to monitor the bees in the 2 planned Flow
boxes. Somehow, the bees in the standard 10 frame boxes are happier than
the 8 framers. Looks like I would need a double broodbox on the 8 framers
as opposed to a single on the 10 framers.
-7. To me, it already is clear that the Apivox Auditor and the Flowhive is
an ideal combination. Then I do not have to open the boxes for inspection
-8. Initially, i liked your plastic bottom board, but it warped. I had to
replace them with marine plywood painted in polyurethane.
Will post on the Forum when my first Flow production takes place next year.
Thanks for your feedback
I don’t know what “babikbayan box” is?
Is it a shipping company/courier?
Use Google to find a Balikbayan Box shipper in your area. It is a system
where a Filipino collects standard size boxes from fellow Filipino’s, fills
up a container with them and sends it to Philippines where it is allowed to
be imported without taxing as they are considered personal effects. A
system allowed by the government to please the many millions of Filipino’s
I don’t think Flow could do that as a company. But you could use a freight forwarder, or organise your own Balikbayan Box to be shipped from Australia or the USA maybe…
We actually looked at the Balikbayan boxes (was going to get them sent from Australia since that’s where i’m originally from) but the packed Flow hives dimensions are a couple inches too large for the correct size of the Balkibayan boxes so that option wouldn’t work
We just ordered ours last week so will update in terms of customs because I know they just got raided a few weeks ago and the government has changed the way they operate because of the excessive fees and taxes of items being received from overseas, so hopefully this will make it more reasonable from last year.
Excited to have Hive Flow in the Philippines!
I got mine in via Balikbayan boxes, no sweat. 2 full hives, 2 BB-boxes and space enough left for some other stuff . No sweat.
oh no way! they said it would be too small. Now with DHL they’re imposing PHP13,000 taxes and duty at customs for it. Should have done Balikbayan!