Honey having a pool of health benefits has made Bee Keeping popular horticulture for thousands of years. Although bees face an uncertain future, businessmen offer bees an environment that at least gives them a shot at survival and maybe even a chance to thrive. People are following crop spraying, hive movement, frequent hive inspections, artificial insemination of queens, routine medication, and sugar water feeding for the production of honey. However, this is totally unnatural.
There’s no precluding that most from claiming us anticipate nectar from our hives. In any case, here’s another solid characteristic beekeeping point of view – the keeping of bumblebees is a prize unto itself and the “creation line” of nectar is a non-importance. Nectar isn’t the main objective. Current Beekeeping practices use chemical treatments to fight diseases and parasites. This pressures the diseases and parasites to become stronger. The consequence is that we are breeding super-pests and diseases, and weak bees that rely on chemical treatments rather than developing their own survival methods. This has a ripple effect on the honey as well.
However, it’s different when it comes to raw mad honey derivation. Mad honey is procured from the natural beekeeping process without human intervention. The wild bees adjust itself in the natural habitat where it moves to water from cliffs in winter and migrates to a lower altitude to a higher altitude to rest. Bees are left on their own to forage and form honey as per their convenience. No human force is implied to derive honey as per their wants and needs.
The hunters do not use any chemical treatments to thrive maximum honey at the required time. As per the experts and honey hunters, the harvesting process is necessary for maintaining the ecosystem. Therefore, the honey is harvested only twice a year as per the lunar calendar to preserve the bees. and is scarce in nature. This in turn maintains the purity and rawness of honey. No pestering results in the preservation of its nutritional value from being lost(from chemical usage).
Therefore, mad honey is a uni floral honey formed by bees foraging on Rhododendron. It is produced exclusively at high altitudes where bees can stay only during some months. Seasonal migration is always required. Majorly, the harvest is not abundant because of the variable meteorological conditions.
The floral diversity around the cliff area ranges from subtropical to alpine species dominated by Rhododendron species like Rhododendron arboreum, Rhododendron barbatum, Lyonia ovalifolia, Michelia kisopa, Quercus lamellosa, Acer sp., Maesa chisia, Eriobotrya elliptica, Berberis spp, Myrsine semiserrata, Schima wallichii, Castanopsis indica, and Myrica which derives the honey to be strong filed with a medicinal and psychedelic ingredient known as “Grayanotoxin”. which are harvested by the locals, usually Gurung’s foothills of the mountain. Honey hunters by now have mastered the art of honey collecting as it is an age-old tradition.
Honey hunters twice a year embark on an expedition to get mad honey from the foothills of the Himalayas. It’s not just a journey to get honey but a journey to preserve their values and cultures.
It’s usually harvested from Lamjung, Kaski, and Rukum. The major nesting sites are Seti valley, Ghachowk, Madi Valley, Sardi valley, Landruk, Khaderjung, and others. The hunters gather all the equipment required for honey hunting and perform rituals for safe commencement. They basically get the hive from the cliff without harming and disturbing the bees through chemical or unnatural forces. The honey is then filtered and brought back to Kathmandu where packaging is done. Thereafter, the mad boys are shipped all across the world. Therefore, Mad honey is completely natural, organic, and unprocessed honey with sweetness from the Rhododendron forest in its purest form.