HIMALAYAN WILD HONEY HUNTING
‘a daring and traditional natural sports of the Nepalese hill people’
Himalayan Wild Honey Hunting main attraction:
“Witness local native climb with vine ropes on a sheer cliff to collect wild honey
Exciting and daring wild sports and way of life of the mid-hills people of Nepal
Hike on the mainstream trail to hidden and off the beaten path in total wilderness
Honey Hunting in Nepal a traditional sport as well as living for some villagers
Hunting wild honey with the backdrop of massive Himalayan mountains range”
Activities at a glance:
Tour Grade: Leisure to moderate with ups and downhill.
Area of Honey Hunting: Around all Nepal Himalaya mid-Hills.
Transportation: As per group size car, coach to bus
Start and End: Few days hike overnight stop in lodge and camping.
Tour Duration: Minimum 2 to Maximum of 3 days with drives and
Himalayan Wild Honey Hunting, most people around the world might have heard and read on National Geographic published in the late 1980’s, explored and covered the story with the dramatic scenario by French author, photographer, director Mr. Eric Valli.
Himalayan Wild Honey Hunting in Nepal been practiced since bygone days, it is certainly one of world heritage sport and activities, a natural way of hunting with primitive equipment.
Wild Honey Hunting was slowly dying and near to extinct among the locals, but from the documentary film “Wild Honey Hunters of Nepal” became famous and popular drawing adventurer and travelers to Nepal to enjoy this age-old daring sports.
In Nepal past decades, where domestic honey or beekeeping known
as Apiary was not established, however, one can find hundreds of beekeeping
farms at present throughout the country.
Around rural farm areas, domestic beekeeping was introduced where a huge piece of wood log served as a beehive, as years went by proper management on beekeeping and farming came into practice.
Himalayan Wild Honey Hunting, in Nepal where one can travel throughout the country around mid-hills where you can observe wild honey hives stuck on sheer rocky cliffs.
Most popular areas for wild honey hunting is around Nepal Mid-West, it has become one of natural adventure sports among foreign adventurer and keen travelers.
For Wild Honey Hunting takes you to Nepal mid-hills where the air is fresh and of mild temperatures throughout the year, where honey hunting in the wilderness takes place two times a year around late spring and in autumn seasons.
A mesmerizing journey on the mid-hills of the great Himalayan range of mountains passing through verdant alpine forests and traditional Gurung villages famous for wild honey, a local tradition of sustainable income of the natives of Siklis and Lamjung Himal area.
Wild honey hunting adventure allows you to be in the midst of traditional farm villages around undisturbed location, far and away from mainstream trekking trails and beyond villages for some days.
The wild honey hunting takes you to mid hills for few days a great delights, an exclusive adventure around wild and remote areas of Nepal within Annapurna and Lamjung Himal where wild honey locations are famous for.
A few days hike towards mid hills covered within rain lush forest of Sal-blue pines, oaks trees with bamboo groves, an interesting trek for a short period to reach the exact spot of Wild Honey Hunting.
For wild honey hunting where one requires a local guide and team works of expert hunters who know the exact location and areas to harvest the wild honey from the hive located on steep rocky cliff walls.
The local hunters use natural materials and tools for the purpose, making vine ladders, and long bamboo poles to poke the beehive as well as making fire with huge smoke to drive the bees.
From the designated site where native can track the beehives which you can witness hanging on high sheer cliffs, where in olden days was part of the profession for the locals honey hunting and selling to town-city folks, at present the sport and art of honey hunting is fading slowly due to growing population and with much farm life that has disturbed the natural habitation of wild bees.
After getting well organized the party of expert honey hunters from the nearby villages makes groups, veteran person climb on the ladder made of local vines, some stays on the ground to help and support.
Getting finally prepared the man on the ladder tries to reach as much high close to beehives, well the supports make smoke to drive the wild bee away to make it easier for the hunters to take away the hive.
As soon as the mission is completed veteran local hunter (mostly elder man decades of experience) taste the honey produced and made by giant Himalayan wild bees known as ‘Apis Laboriosa’.
Some wild honey can be very potent in the western world known as mad or psychedelic honey, one of the sweetest ways to feel and get high which is a poison. It is a neurotoxin that could cause hallucinations and gets you stoned,
even taken in a small portion.
The toxin due to a substance called grayanotoxin that comes from rhododendron pollen. Where a large quantity of Rhododendron flowers covers all parts of Nepal the mountainsides, blooming twice a year and producing the natural product.
On checking and tasting the wild honey for safe to consume the hunters packs the treasures in large buckets and tin cans, which holds more than 5 to 10 kgs of honey with honeycomb.
The hunters also make money from honeycomb apart from the pure honey, the comb called bee wax is sold in the market to sculptors and craftsmen to make metal statues and idols.
Season for Himalayan Wild Honey Hunting and activities:
Himalayan Wild Honey hunting harvest takes place twice a year in mid or late spring and autumn or fall seasons, springtime are bright around the hills.
Where mid rolling green hills forest covered with rhododendron and magnolia tree lines.
Besides rhododendron and magnolia, Himalayan blue and other species of poppies are found in spring and early autumn season the right time to harvest and hunt of Himalayan Wild Honey.
A pleasant hike during spring when hills are alive with wildflowers with grand views of Himalayan towering majestic peaks, sometimes in the late afternoon can get overcast with chances of rain and snow sometimes.
At present, the ‘ICIMOD’ (International Center for Integrated Mountain Development) based in Kathmandu offers a program on Himalayan Wild Honey bees. An important and useful project actively working for the sustainable management of the honey hunting to ensure that the large number of different species of wild bees can easily survive for future and coming generations.