Honey hunting is a mysterious and ancient activity. It is a tribal tradition, surrounded by folklore, rituals and a deep connection and reverence of nature and the sweet nectar she provides. The art of honey hunting is a dangerous pursuit up tall trees and down treacherous cliffs – but it is also a community effort. No man hunts honey alone.

The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is home to major honey-producing zones, with massive honey cliffs or bee-nesting trees present in large numbers across the landscpae.  Honey hunters maintain and preserve this unique practice, and the art of honey collection in the Nilgiris is a source of pride for the communities which continue their ancient traditions.

Programme Components

CHALLENGES

Heavily dependent on weather patterns • Wage work imposing on honey hunting traditions • Loss of knowledge and skills being passed down generations • Sustainable practice deteriorating due to market pressures • Commercialisation • The use of fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides have destroyed large numbers of natural colonies • Deforestation and landuse changes • Exploitation of middlemen • Almost no changes in technology in the honey hunting practices considering the fact that it is such an age old tradition • Unsafe practices

INTERVENTIONS

Trainings • Documentation • Appropriate tools • Value addition • Insurance by Aadhimalai

IMPACTS

A sustainable and economically viable livelihood • Fair price for the product •  Recognition of the age-old practice • Improved quality of honey • Focus on regaining traditions of sustainable honey hunting, to ensure the tradition can live on for future generations

 

 

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