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Bee-keeping sweetens life for Savannakhet family

Very few people can say no to the taste of natural honey, and the demand for the product has helped Mr Sounthone Phoupheng’s family earn more money which has improved their quality of life.
Mr Sounthone, a resident of Phonsay village in Kaysone Phomvihane district, Savannakhet province, says he decided to keep bees because he knew he could easily sell the honey as it is so popular.
In 2001, Mr Sounthone began rearing bees but it was quite difficult initially because he did not have any experience in this field. So he decided to go to Khon Kaen province in Thailand for a week to learn the proper techniques.
Since then, he has gained a lot of experience, enough to become an expert, and can produce hundreds of kilogrammes of honey every year.

Mr Sounthone Phoupheng with one of his beehives.

“Initially, I spent about 13 million kip to buy 20 boxes to keep bees that I bought in Thailand and now I have 25 boxes. Each box produces about 15 to 20kg of honey a year,” he said.
“If I have enough flowers, the bees in one box can produce up to 30 to 40 kg of honey a year but it all depends on the amount of blossom and nectar on fruit trees and flowers. I sell the honey for 120,000 kip per kilogramme,” he added.
One box produces honey only once a year, starting in February, Mr Sounthone said.
He explained that now has enough experience it is easy for his family to make honey but it is difficult to increase the number of boxes because the birds sometimes eat his bees. In the future, he plans to increase the number of boxes if he has more money.
“Keeping bees is good way to earn money for my family. Lots of people like it so we can sell a lot, but you have to love bee-keeping because a lot of time is needed to take care of them,” he said.
Many families in Savannakhet province came to Mr Sounthone to ask about bee-keeping but they usually gave up because they did not have the patience needed for the task.
He said his family is now the only household keeping bees in Savannakhet and he cannot produce enough honey to meet demand.
“We can rear bees anywhere there are flowers and fruit trees. I experimented with keeping bees in Phonhong district, Vientiane province, and got a lot of honey. So that shows people there could earn money that way.” 
Since his honey is completely natural, his wife uses it to make shampoo and conditioner.
Mr Sounthone’s family has become a model for others in Kaysone Phomvihane district and he is ready to give advice and tips to anyone interested in bee-keeping so that they too can earn some extra income and enjoy a better life.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update November 25 , 2017 )

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