Establishing our Beekeeping Academy

The reality of beekeeping in Japan

We believe that the environment of beekeeping in Japan is facing a time of great transformation, as regards the behavior of the bees themselves, the natural environment surrounding them, and the approach of humans to them.

From the deterioration of the environment of bees to the safeguard of the balance between honey harvesting and pollination, the health problems of bees, the location of amateur and urban beekeepers that focus on native species of bees, and the state of associated industries, from a long-term perspective, there are many issues to be addressed when it comes to apiculture.

Beekeepers and the beekeeping industry contribute greatly to the production of food by supporting the pollination of bees, and the contribution of bees for this purpose is even requested on a national level. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries designated a budget to address this every year. But to do so, and of course, to ensure the well-being of the nectar-gathering herd too, it is essential to ensure a farming environment in which bees can grow healthy and well.

The most important thing is to make sure that there is a sufficient number of plants for nectar and pollen. Unfortunately, the number of nectar-rich plants in Japan has been decreasing alarmingly, and this is a major issue that must be addressed.
On the other hand, when we consider the large surface covered by fallow land, abandoned cropland, and woodlands left unattended after logging, we need to evaluate the option of using that land to plant fields or woods of plants that are rich in nectar and pollen.

To solve this problem, in addition to the efforts of beekeepers, we need to think of practical ways to involve the general public in the long-term goal of creating forests of nectar-rich plants in the future for environmental improvement purposes, by offering practical suggestions, for example a way of gardening that is gentler to bees and flower-visiting insects. This establishment addresses the issues that the successors of beekeeping will face with special attention.

Originally, the beekeeping industry was a closed industry with a family business component, which meant that one could not become a beekeeper unless their grandparents and parents were engaged in beekeeping.

Of course, until now, there has been little public awareness of bees and locally produced honey so that kind of small family-based business model was enough. However, recently, the health-oriented appreciation for a natural and genuine lifestyle has become a popular trend and this has sparked a new interest for domestic bees and honey, and the beekeepers who produce it have become more and more important.

The problem is that, as mentioned above, there is a shortage of specialized beekeepers due to the strong family business factor of this industry. In addition, different regions and individuals have access to different levels of beekeeping technology, creating regional disparities.

Founding the Beekeeping Academy

To address and solve these issues, it is important to establish a beekeeping academy that can contribute to the standardization of apiculture technologies and the training of beekeepers. This type of initiative has been implemented in several EU countries for a long time, but in Japan, this is the first attempt.

1. Experienced Teachers
Tamagawa University is the only university in Japan where you can learn about bees. Honorary Professor Masami Sasaki and Professor Hoshiba, lead the technical training. We also invite professional beekeepers from all over the country to offer lectures and opportunities for fieldwork.

2. Handbooks on Beekeeping Techniques
We still do not have an appropriate handbook in Japanese that contains technical guidance for professional beekeepers and adequate information on beekeeping technology, and as much as we would love to write one ourselves, that is not an easy thing to do.

Instead, we focus on introducing the content of the most recent books on beekeeping technology and skills from all over the world. Furthermore, we believe that having adequate knowledge of the habits and biology of bees will come in handy in apicultural settings.

3. Employment
As far as employment is concerned, training seriously for one year /one year and a half, an aspiring beekeeper will acquire a certain amount of beekeeping skills. We will then support their employment through the beekeeping network.

Supporting organization : Beekeeping Industry Promotion Association

About our Hands-on Experience Lessons

We want to share the charm of honey and beekeeping with as many people as possible.

We hold hands-on experience lessons that you can enjoy seasonally.

Matsujiro no Mise Ise Oharai Machi Store offers a variety of experience classes that can be enjoyed seasonally. You will be able to experience making honey aromatic wax sachets, beeswax candles, honey lip creams and hand creams with us. From experience classes to events and goods, we are delighted to share our passion for honey with our customers.

Honey Aroma Wax Sachet Making
Mosaic Soap & Face Lotion Making
Lip and Hand Cream Making
Aroma Bath Bomb Making
“Mitsuro” Wrap Making
Honey Scrub Making