Himalayan honey has an extremely wide range of biologically effective substances, vitamins, macro- and micro-nutrients. This is a versatile product that supports the body and fills it with life energy. It is used as a therapeutic food at attenuation of the body and for patients with severe diseases.
Himalayan honey has a healing and nourishing, body strengthening effect. It reduces swelling and cough, has a laxative effect, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.
Honey is a natural substance that connects all recipe components; it is often a base for various pills and some teas/decoctions.
[Source of the above information: Recent Achievements of Ancient Medicine by Prof. Dr. Arkadijus Gamperis,
Medical Doctor and Professor of Oriental Medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania - ISBN 978-609-95273-3-8]
Jimmy and the Wild Honey Hunters
Jimmy Doherty, pig farmer and star of Jimmy's Farming Heroes, travels to Nepal to meet an ancient group of people who risk their lives to farm their local honey.
A keen bee keeper with a passion for honey, Jimmy has always been blown away by the sheer variety of flavours, appreciating a good honey like others enjoy a fine wine. So when he heard about an ancient group of people in Nepal who are willing to risk their lives to taste their local honey, he knew he wanted to share the experience.
As a 'honey hunter' Jimmy must scale a massive cliff to reach the home of more than two million bees and dangle 200 feet up to get their honey. If successful, the reward is not only to learn more about these amazing bees, but also to taste one of nature's finest bounties, beautiful wild honey.
The Honey Hunters of Nepal
In the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal men harvest Himalayan Cliff Bee (Apis Laboriosa) honey as they have for generations. The Himalayan honey bee, the biggest in the world at up to 3 cm (1.2 inches) is specifically adapted to the harsh climate of the Himalayas. It nests at altitudes between 2500 and 3000 meters (8200-9800 ft) and forages at altitudes up to 4100 meters (13500 ft). They have a flight range of 5-14 kilometers (3-9 miles). This bee builds nests under overhangs on the southwestern faces of vertical cliffs. They are found in Bhutan, India, China and Nepal.
The Himalayan Cliff bee produces three different types of honey: Spring high altitude or red honey; Spring mid to low altitude honey; and Autumn honey. The Red honey is the most praised because of it's intoxicating or relaxing effects. It is not consumed locally but exported at five times the price of other honeys to Japan and China for traditional medicinal use. In Korea some healers are using it to treat drug addiction. The intoxicating effects come from grayanotoxin present in the nectar of white rhododendrons.
The ownership and control of honey harvesting has always been in the control of local villages but in many areas because of increased foreign demand control has been turned over to non-traditional harvesters and exporters. This, along with loss of habitat and the introduction of the European honey bee has caused a tremendous decrease in the Himalayan Cliff bee population. The European honey bee has also brought with it a bacteria which causes European Foulbrood (bee disease) to which the Himalayan bee has little resistance.
The Himalayan Cliff bee is essential for the pollination of high altitude plants and their decreased populations puts these ecosystems in jeopardy. For the past ten years groups have been working to protect the Himalayan Cliff bee by returning sustainable harvesting control back to the local villages and protecting habitat. Their habitat has become fragmented due to deforestation. In recent years bee populations have stabilized and it is hoped that increased income from "Honey harvesting tourism" will be an incentive for young people to learn the traditional harvesting methods of their elders.
The Honey Hunters of Nepal:
Jimmy and the Wild Honey Hunters:
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