AFTER working for more than 20 years in the aviation industry, retired Malaysia Airlines (MAS) security staffer Abdul Rahman Mad Taib, 74, decided to try something new during his retirement days.
The septuagenarian started to get involved in the business six years ago after realising the potential of ‘madu kelulut’ (stingless bee honey) in generating income.
Now, he has a total of 30 ‘kelulut’ hives that are kept in separate boxes at the compound of his house in Pondok Upeh, Balik Pulau.
Abdul Rahman said each hive could produce between 2kg and 3kg of honey per month.
“I got interested in the business when I visited a friend in Bangi many years ago. He was selling the kelulut honey and was earning between RM3,000 and RM4,000 monthly.
“The kelulut honey is also known to have medicinal benefits. Meanwhile, the kelulut honey was rarely found in Balik Pulau back then.
“I felt the timing was right and it was an opportunity for me to invest in the business, so I did.
“I attended a few training programmes and courses by the state Agriculture Department to know more about the kelulut honey. I learned about the characteristics, the harvesting techniques and others before starting my business,” he told Buletin Mutiara when met at his house recently.
Abdul Rahman said he chose to breed the Heterotrigona itama because that type of species would be able to produce a large amount of honey.
“It is also easy to breed. I plant suitable flower plants near the hives to ease pollination and to promote the production of honey,” he added.
Abdul Rahman said the kelulut honey has a rather unique taste.
“The honey has a sweet-sour taste. It could be due to the influence of multiflora resources such as pollens grains and tree resins.
“The colour of the kelulut honey will turn slightly darker over time,” he said.
Abdul Rahman said he only sells pure, original kelulut honey.
“The price for a bottle of 125ml kelulut honey is RM45, while a 500ml bottle is priced at RM160.
“Besides Penang, I have also marketed my honey in Kuala Lumpur. The honey has received an overwhelming response from the local community.
“Those who are interested to buy the kelulut honey can contact me directly at 012-482 8131,” he said.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Muhamad Amir Irsyad Omar