bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Cliff-hanger in Nepal

National Geographic (every geography pupil's introduction to soft porn) has featured the difficulties faced by the honey hunters of Nepal. The local cliff-nesting bee, Apis laboriosa (possibly identical to Apis dorsata), faces competition from the newly introduced European bee (Apis mellifera), the arrival of European Foulbrood, deforestation, the change in ownership of its cliffs from traditional honey hunters to the Nepalese Government, and non-sustainable honey harvesting techniques. Bee tourism may be their best way forward.

For anyone interested in honey hunting, there is a great coffee table book (if that's not a contradiction in terms): Honey Hunters of Nepal by photo journalists, Eric Valli and Diane Summers. And from the UK, Claire Waring, now General Secretary of BBKA, has run well-regarded tours.


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