Beekeeping, we’re happy to say, knows no political or ideological boundaries.
And apparently, you can get rich doing it even in a communist country.
That’s the case with Tran Xuan Phong, 31, of An Khang Commune in northern Vietnam. In 2002, he inherited his father’s 150 beehives and tried to make a go of it. As with almost any new beekeeper, he lacked experience, knowledge and equipment.
As his hives quickly expanded, Phong took his insects to other provinces for pollen during different flowering seasons.
In 2008, he signed a contract for beekeeping and honey distribution with Dak Lak Bee Co., a Vietnamese firm. His products have since sold particularly well.
Phong’s farm is currently home to 1,700 beehives, which produce over 100 tons of honey per year.
He earns around VND2 billion ($94,135) in profit each year and provides stable jobs for many young people. (quoted)
For those of us who have been around since the 1960s and 1970s, the nation of Vietnam has a special meaning, and the memories for both us and the Vietnamese of those times are not good ones. That’s why, to this beekeeper, this story is a heartening one.
Key words: beekeeping in Vietnam, honey, beehives, Italian bees, communist countries, Tran Xuan Phong