Bee Wild Honey presents an organic offering collected by tribals, where the sweetness varies according to season
When the three-decade-old Gudalur-based Adivasi Munnetra Sangam saw the plight of honey hunters in the Kattunayakan village, they created a team of volunteers under the name Bee Wild. The idea was to help the locals in hunting, packaging and retailing honey. Bee Wild Honey has been retailing honey collected from the forests of Mudumalai by tribal honey hunters from the adjoining villages, for eight months now. “During the peak honey season of May to August, the main honey hunter takes four to five skilled hunters between the age group of 12-45, with him to the forest at night. The head hunter climbs up a suitable tree with no protection and brings down the hive after which the others extract the honey with the help of special strings and smokers,” shares Nishita Vasanth, 29, the project coordinator of Bee Wild Honey.
After a successful outing at their first organic fair at Saptaparni in Hyderabad last December, Vasanth says that there will be more such fairs coming to the South this year. With other labels like Last Forest, Honey Hut (at Masinagudi) and Keystone selling wild honey and flavoured honey (think ginger, pepper and bitter honey), Vasanth shares that at Bee Wild Honey, the flavour varies with season, and the level of sweetness of the honey is indicated on their labels. “During May, the bees form their hives on jamun trees, making the honey bitter, while during the November-December season we get the sweetest honey from hives on vellai thadachi trees,” she says, adding that this year they procured close to a tonne of honey from the forests. While close to 500 kilograms of honey is sold under their label, they also supply honey in bulk, to organisations like Under the Mango Tree, Save Harvest and Elements.
Priced from Rs.280 onward. Details: facebook.com/beewildhoney
— Aishwarya Kumar