The ancient art of Honey Hunting in Nepal
Honey Hunting in Nepal, the collection of Honey from the nests of wild honeybees (Apis Dorsata Laborasia), world largest honeybees, built on steep cliffs, is an age-old tradition. The research has shown that wild honey hunting is one of the oldest activity did by humans for survival and according to the study of rocks it has been found that honey hunting has been done since 13000 BC in Nepal. The tradition has passed down for generations and it is the tribe of Mongol in Nepal who follows this tradition. The Cliffs in Annapurna regions and Budhi Gandaki valley in Manaslu region have a remarkable presence of wild bee which makes hive on the vertical slopes of these cliffs.
Honey Hunting demands teamwork and cannot be done individually. Before a hunt begin the honey hunters organizes a religious ceremony to calm the cliff gods. As well to protect themselves from the attack of honeybees and ensure a safe hunt. This involves sacrificing a sheep, offering flowers, rice, and fruits. The worship is organized to respect the hard work of honeybees and their contribution to the survival of human beings. As soon as you reach high, hovering aggressive wild honeybees will welcome the hunter. Furthermore, a fire will lit at the base of the cliff to smoke the bees from their honeycombs.
Local honey hunters show their exceptional skills by hanging themselves from cliffs as high as 300 meters using Bamboo ladders and hemp ropes, while harvesting the honeycombs. Only experienced villagers can do Honey Hunting. The ropes are usually made out of locally resource like Niyalo, bamboo, and Choya. As it is a teamwork, his mates secure the rope and ladder from the top and tools up down as required. The honey hunter fights territorial bees as he cuts out lumps of honey from the honeycomb. Finally, the lead honey hunter collects honey in the bucket from the beehives and passes down to another person.
Locals carry this out only on auspicious dates, by reading an astrological calendar. To watch this honey hunting performed by local experts will be a mesmerizing event on your journey. Along with honey hunting, this is a chance of viewing and experiencing the traditional honey harvest of Gurung people. In past, this wild honey used for a medical purpose which still exists and has huge medicinal value with a great deal of money in the international market. It carried a lot of medicinal, nutritional, aphrodisiacal and hallucinogenic properties.
Best Time for Honey Hunting in Nepal
Honey hunting tour can be a challenging tour for those with knowledge of rock climbing and who are brave enough to take this risk. It is so unique and rare that it carried out and observed only in few, remote places of Nepal. Thus, it has still remained an isolated event. The most popular honey hunting destinations are located in Nai Chi, Bhujung, Pasgaon, Naya Gaun, Ludhi, and Dare. May-June and October-November are two probable periods of honey hunting in a year. Autumn season hunting is usually done in the low altitude belt which is nearer from the base. So, on this seasons the journey is short generally of 4-5 days long. In addition, high altitude hunting is of 5-9 days long and far from the base. The reason behind placing Honey Hunting tour in Nepal is it is, in fact, an adventurous action experienced like festivals in these villages.
Global Link Tours & Travel organize this 15 days Honey hunting Tour as part of Trekking. It is a camping Trek with spectacular Honey Hunting. Risking their lives collecting honeycomb in the foothills of the Himalayas the Gurung tribesmen of Nepal are master honey hunters. These holidays give you the opportunity to sample traditions and Gurung culture in Nepal. Don’t forget your camera!!