Bee business buzzing in Fujian; honey abounds
A beehive at the Shiliaoge bee breeding base in Wan'an town of Wuping county, Fujian province [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The healthy ecology of forest land in Wuping county, Fujian province, is making the honey business possible for farmers, especially for those who are physically challenged.
Wu Xiangcai, who once lived in poverty due to a physical disability, is now able to make tens of thousands of yuan annually by breeding bees to produce honey in the county's Yongping town.
"Consumers can check production procedures in real time and place orders through online platforms," Wu said.
Liu Jiabing, 50, who has speech impairments, along with his wife, who also has a physical disability, returned to the county in 2016 to breed bees after working in other cities for several years. The couple applied for 20 beehives from the county federation for disabled people in 2016 and produced 400 kilograms of honey that year.
During the past six years, the couple have developed a base to breed bees and expand their business. They share their experience and skills with other farmers to help them live better lives.
"The water, soil and overall environment of the county's forest land is ideal for breeding bees," said Zhong Liangsheng, who runs the Shiliaoge bee breeding base in Wan'an town.
The town has 9,733 hectares of forest — about 85 percent of its land area.
In addition to developing honey-related products, Zhong's base is a place to spread knowledge and skills for breeding bees and harvesting honey. To date, the base has trained 2,800 people.
Now the county has more than 160 breeding bases, which produce 450 metric tons of honey annually. A total of 192 farmers who have disabilities work in the sector.