The Honey Hunters of Nepal

Photo: Andrew Newey.


Photo: Andrew Newey.

Here's a stunning series of images by photographer Andrew Newey of Nepalese honey hunters. Newey spent two weeks among the Gurung ethnic group in central Nepal, documenting their traditional beekeeping practices.

High in the Himalayan foothills of central Nepal Gurung honey hunters gather twice a year, risking their lives to harvest the honey from the world’s largest honeybee. For hundreds of years, the skills required to practise this ancient and sacred tradition have been passed down through the generations, but now both the number of bees and traditional honey hunters are in rapid decline as a result of increased commercial interests and climate change.

Photoset: andrewnewey.com. You can buy matted prints.

The Guardian ran some of the images back in February, with some descriptive captions that help you understand what the hunters are doing.

In the image shared here, you can see a hunter using two simple tools: a handmade rope ladder, and a pair of long sticks called tangos. Most of the honeybees' nests are situated on steep cliffs.

Notable Replies

  1. That is terrifying.

  2. now both the number of bees and traditional honey hunters are in rapid decline as a result of increased commercial interests and climate change.

    Maybe the number of honey hunters is in rapid decline because the only people with shittier labour standards are Alaskan crab fishermen.

  3. Apparently the honey collected in the spring is red and intoxicating. I'm not sure how commercial honey could compete with that.

  4. miasm says:

    Why is it that whenever I see impressive images of the natural world, David Attenborough's voice starts narrating the scene for me?
    I think for those of y'all in the Americas, Morgan Freeman would pop up. I mean, it's impossible to even read his name without doing it in his voice.
    Anyway. Honey.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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