Stunning Images of the Nepalese Honey Hunters

Twice each year, the Gurung tribe of West-Central Nepal make a journey up the Himalayas to harvest honey. The tradition and skill of gathering honey is passed down to each generation so each hunter naturally comes from a long line of hunters before him. There are no roads to the steep cliffs of the highest mountain of the world, which means everything must be carried on their backs. The process itself is traditional with the hunters using smoke to confuse the bees and removing the wax before getting to the red honey. The caveat is that the bees are not your run-of-the-mill honeybees. The world’s largest honeybee, Apis laborosa, can grow up to 1.2 inches and their hives hang in midair which makes for a very precarious ascent for the gatherers. The hunting team is made up of a trusted team of men with specific jobs and equipments consists of handmade rope ladders and long bamboo sticks called tangos. Each hive makes over 50 quarts of the most valuable honey in the world prized for its highly intoxicating and relaxing properties.

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