Dielle’s Apiary and Mediary:
To Bee or Not to Bee
There is no disputing the nutritional and medicinal value of honey as a traditional food supplement. In the olden times, it was regarded as the “nectar of the gods” because of the difficulty of extracting it for human consumption. Luke Macababad will discover and enjoy its ancient properties as he and his family feast on its natural power.
In 2002, he engaged in beekeeping to extract honey for the consumption of his household which is into healthy food. With the four 4 bee colonies they initially set up, they harvested more than they can consume and found themselves selling the excess honey to friends and neighbors for a friendly price of only P 200 a bottle.
They raised the bees from their 300 sq. m. homes in Tunasan, and at the gardens of friends in Batangas, Laguna and Cavite by having their bees pollinate the fruit-bearing trees, and shared the honey harvest under a friendly arrangement.
Little did they known that their P 20,000 investment for a healthy sweetener will lead to an enterprise which will tickle the taste buds of honey lovers and wine aficionados.
After two years of selling honey, Macababbad was challenged to add value to this raw product and thus Dielle’s Apiary and Mediary was born to produce a novel and healthy fermented drink—honey wine. Dubbed “Deliciously Divine”, he came up with four introductory flavors—mead, bignay, buhat, and mango, making do with improvised equipment and ingredients. Their mead flavor was a hit as the TV series Game of Thrones featured the honey wine in their episodes.
He sought assistance from the Department of Science and Technology for the proper wine-making process, and registered the business in 2006 as a sole proprietorship. Three years later, he secured loan from the agency to avail of modern equipment to keep up with the growing demand. A Canadian non-government organization also came into the picture to extend technological know-how in improving the brand.
Soon enough, their wine bottles can be seen at leading supermarkets, wine stores, and Department of Trade and Industry Go Lokal stalls at malls, as well as online stores such as Lazada and Shopee.
Early this year, it diversified into honey vinegar and intensified this product when a liquor ban was implemented in Metro Manila due to the ECQ. Dielle’s Apiary and Mediary will also expand into a health-oriented product line gleaned from a trip to an organic store in Korea.
As a responsible corporate citizen in the community, the firm employs local residents, and does feeding program in the local parish annually, and delivers medicine and food quarterly to the Home for the Aged.
By answering the question of to go into the bee industry or not, Macababbad is now reaping the benefits of health and wealth due to honey.