Insect (bee) raising

Insect (bee) raising

Local people across Laos have been collecting honey from wild hives for a long time – both from hives hanging from trees or cliffs, and hives in hollow tree logs etc. In some villages, the Asian honey bee (Apis cerana) has been semi-domesticated, although this method has limitations as the harvesting process destroys the hive and the bees often abandon the hive. In response to requests from villagers, TABI and MAF have been working with bee keepers to support the keeping of native bee species in wooden boxes to provide a more sustainable – and hopefully larger - source of income.  This approach will also support native honey bee populations, a critical component of agro-ecological systems.

Expected Impacts of the Subprojects:

On Agro-Biodiversity

  • Honey collected from wild hives puts pressure on native bee species – this pressure is reduced by native bee keeping in villages
  • Native bees are a critical component of any agro-biodiversity system due to their importance for plant pollination – reducing the pressure on bees ensures that wild and captive populations can continue this vital ecological function
  • The management of bees living in the wild requires the conservation of tree species that bees prefer to establish their hives. Protecting stands of these trees provides habitat and structure for a wide range of species.

On Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction

  • Intensifying the keeping of bees and production of honey in the village provides an additional income stream for villagers
  • By producing honey in hives in and near the village, villagers have more time to work on other income generating activities
  • Raising bees in wooden boxes rather than old logs allows the hive to be harvested multiple times, and produces more honey.


   Further Information

   » Insect Raising Photos

   » NTFP Subprojects

   » TABI Overview





For more information on individual subprojects see the table below, or download the most recent project profile PDF document at the download link below.

Current Subprojects

Project name



 Number of villages  

 Number of households  


Promotion of Bee keeping and conservation of natural resource, Vienxai District (#23)

Vieng Xai




Promotion of Local Bee keeping, processing, marketing, Phoukodt, Pek (#25)

Phoukoud, Pek

Xieng Khouang




Promotion of Bee keeping - and processing/marketing, Aid District (#37)






Promotion of local bee keeping and honey production (#25)


Xieng Khouang



Bee Keeping, improved management of natural bees/harvest, Chomphet & Nambak District (#4)


Luang Prabang