How to obtain or buy a bee colony in Kalimantan, Indonesia

Hi there

I am new to this site. My husband who is Indonesian is very keen to start bee keeping in Borneo having done it here in UK. He has no problems building the hives but we have absolutely no idea where we can purchase a colony of bees with a queen. Does anyone know of an breeders in Kalimantan or Java or would we have to get in touch with someone in Australia. Any advice would be extremely useful.

Many thanks


Are there any wild swarms?

I believe there are swarms but I have been told that you have to travel up to 100 miles to find the bees. They are particular tree in Borneo that I believe has become quite rarer and difficult to find now due to deforestation…This is why we thought of buying them in.

What kind of bees you want to keep? Apis Cerana? Apis Mellifera? or even sting-less bees? :slight_smile:

There are many kind of bees but when you said about bees & forest especially in SEA, I begin to think about Apis Dorseta (Forest Honey Bees), until now we can’t keep this wild “giant” bees in any hives we have like any other mellifera bees. If you want to get local bees or swarms, the only option you have is Apis Cerana. Although this bees already “adapt” with Tropical Climate & Situation (including diseases), this bees require more skill because their productivity is very low, and have more tendency to swarm compare to apis mellifera.

Apis Mellifera (WHB) is good but not best answer in this situation. It because this “introduced” bees must compete with other local bees (either cerana, dorseta, or sting-less bees). For example here in Indonesia, although this bees came since 1972 (25 hives), in 2016 there are only about 40.000 manage colonies here. Many of this bees died because of Varroa, and other tropical problems (there are many factors here). If you want to bought WHB, I strongly suggest you buy from your own country or Malaysia.

When buy bees, it’s good to find local survivor stock. You will be “very lucky” if get some colonies that survived in tropical climate without any chemical treatment.



I’ve heard from a friend that in Laos there’s no bees really, they’ve all been killed for larvae and honey.

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