Even though he began rearing stingless bees just for fun, it is now a source of income for Jabal Singkamung, a resident of Kampung Sonsogon Magandai, near here.
The 50-year-old, who lives in a village located 58 kilometres from Kota Marudu town, could earn between RM800 and RM1,500 from the sales of kelulut honey.
According to Jabal, he started keeping the kelulut bees three years ago after finding out there are many kelulut beehives in the forest around the village.
He said based on the knowledge he acquired from a course organised by the Village Development Cooperative (KPD), he and his colleagues started to keep the bees in their house compounds.
“I have 10 kelulut beehives and the honey is sold to the wholesalers in Kota Marudu town at RM40 to RM60 per bottle.
“At the same time, the kelulut beehives taken in the jungle are also sold at RM70 to RM200,” he told Bernama here.
Jabal, who is also Sonsogon Magandai village head, said there were 25 families from Sonsogon Dusun ethnic in the village were working on the kelulut bee farm project.
In the near future, more people in the village would participate in the project as it was easy to breed and the kelulut beehives could be easily found in the surrounding jungle, he said.
For another villager, Solboy Majudin, 48, who participated in the kelulut bees keeping project noted that it has become his main source of income and breeding it around his house.
According to him, among the challengers in kelulut bees breeding is to find its hives in the forest where they are exposed to venomous animals such as snakes, hornet and the jungle honey bees.
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture through the KPD has opened the Borneo Honeybee Centre in Sikuati, Kudat, a neighbouring district of Kota Marudu.
At the centre, Contract Planting System was practised with Kota Marudu farmers since 1991.
Due to the potential and success of the project, it has been extended to Pitas district and also to the small district of Matunggong.
The Borneo Honeybee Centre is a centre for collecting, processing and bottling of honey and also conducted the bees farming courses.