Prepared by: AP. Dr. Rossilah Jamil
Bee-Modular Box is an economic development project lead by Azman Hashim International Business School (AHIBS), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) young researcher, Dr. Mohd Khairuddin bin Ramliy to assist the B40 group to improve their economic resilience.
Compared to the conventional method that uses wooden boxes, the Bee-Modular Box is designed from sustainable and durable materials to ensure it stands in the Malaysian weather for at least 10 years. A special type of bees called ‘kelulut’ (meliponines or stingless bees), is used for this project to produce honey.
“Kelulut bees are very tiny and breed easily. Despite their small size, they can produce a good amount of honey, so it is a good additional income for the breeders,” said Dr. Khairuddin.
The pilot project involves strategic quadruple-helix collaborations between AHIBS UTM with the Ministry of Technology, Science and Innovation (MOSTI), Simpang Renggam District Council (MDSR), Koperasi Eco Usahawan Johor Berhad, and the local communities. Dr. Khairuddin has been awarded the Social Innovation Grant of RM216,000 from MOSTI to fund the project.
A total of 100 families from the B40 group has been chosen to receive the Bee-Modular Box which set up at the Tapak Nurseri MDSR, Renggam, Johor. As of today, the project has shown excellent progress and managed to increase the reputation of the Renggam district.
The project has attracted the attention of several government delegates with visits from Dato’ Ir. Hasni bin Mohammad (Chief Minister of Johor), YB Tuan Haji Ayub bin Jamil (Executive Councillor for Housing and Local Government), YB Datuk Onn Hafiz bin Ghazi (Executive Councillor for Tourism, Youth, and Sports), YB Datuk Haji Samsolbari bin Jamali (Executive Councillor for Agriculture, Agro-based Industry and Rural Development), and Tuan Haji Jamaludin bin Haji A. Hamid (Renggam District Officer).
Other than providing the Bee-Modular Box, the recipients will also receive training and coaching in business, marketing, and branding to nurture their entrepreneurial mindset and help them generate additional income. The progress and commitment of each recipient will be monitored through scheduled visits and site maintenance.
The kelulut honey has a lot of health properties. The industry can potentially grow bigger in the next few years and if that happens, kelulut farming through the Bee-Modular Box can help more families to create a new source of stable and sustainable income.