“If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.”
― Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life of the Bee, [Maurice Maeterlinck is a Nobel Prize winner from Belgium]
Himalayan Cliff Honey is 100% natural wild raw honey. We work with Gurung tribes and Locals of Annapurna and Manaslu Himalayan ranges of Nepal forests where tribal Honey hunters collect the Wild Raw Honey from natural Bee Hives in cliffs and trees. It requires special skills to collect this honey and is very hard to collect it due to which its price is comparatively higher. This Honey is made by the Himalayan Giant Honey Bees (Apis Dorsata Laboriosa) by collecting the nectar from rhododendron and other wildflowers of the forests in the Himalayas. The forests of these mountain ranges are rich in medicinal plants and this honey is highly popular for its medicinal use and is used extensively for Ayurvedic treatments.
How our honey is produced?
Himalayan Cliff Honey is produced by the Himalayan Giant Honey Bees (Apis dorsata laboriosa) from the nectars of Rhododendron, Bikh (Aconitum spp.), Pangra (Entada scanders) and Niramasi and other wild flowers found in high Himalayan range and harvested by the indigenous tribe from the Himalayan cliffs of Nepal.
This honey is very rare honey and the Himalayan giant bees collect the nectars from the flowers of the forests of Annapurna and Manaslu mountain range very far from human settlements and can be harvested only 1-2 times per year.
In Nepal, there are at least 5 different honey bee species. The largest of them is The Giant Bee of Himalayas, Apis dorsata laborisa, a wild bee which builds huge nests on the overhanging rocks of cliff faces, in the high forests of Himalaya. These bees are commonly known as cliff bee or King bees.
Apis dorsata laboriosa is yellow in color with black strips on each abdominal segment. It builds a single comb, 1 to 1.6 m wide and 0.8 to 1.5 m long, underneath a stout branch of tall tree or building or water tower or cliff to protect their nests from top predators (according to FLETCHER in 1952; SEELEY et al. in 1982; CRANE in 1990; WONGSIRI et. al. in 1996). The comb is protected by several layers of protective curtains. The protective curtains maintain a constant brood nest temperature between 30-33 °C.
Honey Hunting in Nepal(360 video)
It requires special skills to collect it.
Mostly these honey from high mountains are collected by the local Gurungs who have those specific skills and it is very difficult and dangerous to collect these honey. These people are trained from their previous generations to collect the honey from the wild bees’ nests.
The honey hunter has to climb up those dangerous cliffs and face the fury of swarming bees.
Honey hunting usually takes place twice a year, in spring and autumn. With the help of only homemade hemp ropes and bamboo ladders, they begin their climb. The cliffs are often as tall as 300 m. The lead honey hunter collects the honey in a bucket from the beehives and passes down to another person.
In the past, honey hunters used to organize a religious ceremony and prayers before collecting honey to protect themselves from the attack of honeybees and any miss-happenings. Even these days, the local honey hunters offer flowers, grains and sheep to the God before beginning hunting process. Many also call this celebration as a worship meant to show respect for the hard work of honeybees and their contribution to the survival of human beings.