Honey Hunters – Nepal

honey-huntingThe Gurung tribesmen of Nepal make a living by collecting honeycomb from gravity-defying Himalayan cliffs. They put themselves in the stickiest of situations, dangling from rope ladders to access the sweet treat.

Balancing precariously up to 90 m (300 ft) above the ground, honey hunters use thick smoke to sedate huge swarms of angry bees. This tradition has been going on for thousands of years. Some of the honey is shared among the villagers to make tea, and the rest is sold.

Measuring up to 3 cm (1.2 in) in length, the Himalayan honey bee (Apis laboriosa) is the largest honey bee in the world. It lives at high altitude, and builds its large, precarious nests on the sides of vertical cliffs.