The story of Honey Harvesting!

Sep 28, 2015Ramya Sundaram

Legend says, when a traveler named Bacchus was traveling with a group of Satyrs, the lot came across a swarm of bees. The Satyrs were clashing cymbals along the way and the bees had been following them because of the hubbub. One Satyr then lured the bees into a hallow tree because of the inconvenience caused. The hive of bees left behind a yellow comb and once the travelers tasted the sweet concomitant of the comb, their tongues did a dance of joy. Thirsting for more, they began looking for similar combs on every tree!

This is how honey was discovered! The story was first illustrated, in the 15th century, by Piero de Cosimo through the painting titled “The Discovery of Honey by Bacchus”.

Ever since the discovery of honey, obtaining and savoring its sweet taste dominated the minds of many. This is how the notion of honey harvesting was born. A rock painting, believed to have come to life 8000 years BC, is the most historic evidence of honey harvesting. A honey-seeker scattered the bees using smoke, causing destruction of the trees (or rocks?) and then robbed the wild bee colony. Similar paintings are said to be found in Asia, Australia, India and Africa.

To nourish the sweet tooth, many tribes and communities have also been involved in the trade of honey hunting. A notable and most ancient tribe is the Gurung tribespeople from Nepal, who dwell at the foothills of the Himalayas. They engage in the most dangerous method of honey harvesting. First they rise smoke attempting to chase the bees out of their hives. Then they slash and poke at the hives intending to cut the combs so they drop into the hanging baskets. All this is done while they balance themselves on ropes or rope-ladders, 200 feet above the ground. This undertaking is done twice a year, Spring and Autumn. Never has this tribe chosen the modern ways and abandoned the traditional ways. 

The methods of honey harvesting have been worked on through the years though and today there are numerous convenient methods to harvest honey. But the basic process to extract the purest form of honey has been the same. Protective clothing first, chase the bees from the hive next and then obtain the honey comb. The factor that changes is how the honey is extracted from the honeycomb. Some methods are uncapping the comb and removing the wax, extracting using an extractor and then mushing the comb and then straining the honey. Finally there is sterilizing your containers and bottling up the honey.

At Honey and Spice, we work towards harvesting the purest form of honey from the cliffs! We experiment with the two delicious ingredients and deliver some lip-smacking and flavorsome blend of bliss!

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