History of Himalayan Honey: The Sweet Taste of Success
Mad honey has a long and storied history with human civilizations. The people of Nepal had already enjoyed the benefits of their treasured mystical honey for millennia when the rest of the world encountered it. The substance features prominently in a number of ancient cultures. So how is something that’s been around since the dawn of civilization still relevant today? Because it helps us be better people, and that drive is evergreen.
DO YOU LOVE THE TASTE OF HONEY?
We do, too. But that’s not why you eat mad honey. Himalayan honey isn’t a traditional honey; it isn’t nearly as sweet as the honey we’re used to. Mad honey is a medicinal, mind-expanding honey. It isn’t eaten for the enjoyment of eating. It’s eaten to enjoy the calm, elevated mental states the honey unlocks.
The flavor is unlike any honey you’ve ever had. Add it to a hot beverage, or enjoy it with toast and jam. Some enjoy it right out of the jar, while some consider it an acquired taste. But everyone agrees that the honey’s healing benefits are far more important than how it tastes.
THE HISTORY OF MAD HONEY
Mad honey is only found in a few places on Earth. The Himalayan mountains in Nepal are one of the primary sources. Turkey is the second-most prolific producer. Turkish mad honey, also called Deli Bal, has been discovered by other cultures throughout history, often with memorable results.
Deli Bal is found in the Black Sea region of Turkey. In 401 B.C.E., the Greek army was on its way back home from a successful campaign against the Persians. Passing through the area, the soldiers discovered a cache of local beehives and decided to curb their gnawing hunger.
Having never encountered mad honey before, the soldiers had no idea what they were eating. They quickly consumed far more than they should and started suffering the consequences. As is the case with large overdoses of mad honey, the entire legion found itself disoriented, vomiting, and suffering from gastrointestinal distress. Eventually, everyone, even the heartiest among the troops, passed out from the experience.
The following day they awoke to find the honey’s effects had passed, and so, shaken and confused but otherwise healthy, the troops made their way home.
Hundreds of years later, the Romans had their own surprise run-in with Deli Bal. Unfortunately their paths met a much grimmer end.
The Romans were pursuing the Persian army along the Black Sea. In a bid to weaken their enemy, the Persians filled pots to overflowing with the region’s potent mad honey, leaving them behind for the trailing Romans to find.
Find them they did, and like the Greeks before, they overindulged dramatically and found themselves terribly disoriented and unable to fight. At that moment, the Persians came out of hiding and slaughtered their pursuers.
The history of mad honey shows us the importance of dosage. The right amount creates a wonderfully warm state of calm focus. Too much, and you might find yourself on the business end of a Persian sword.
Himalayan honey’s history isn’t nearly as exciting simply because the honey is produced in such a remote area. Until recently, the region’s daunting geography meant that all but the most intrepid explorers could not reach the windswept slopes. But it’s there that Nepal’s giant honey bees have been converting rhododendron nectar into some of the finest mad honey available since before we were here to see it..
Giant honey bees, you say? That’s right; the compelling story of how the bees make their honey overshadows its history.
THE WORLD'S LARGEST HONEY BEE
The largest honey bee in the world is Apis laboriosa, which may grow up to 3.0 cm (1.2 in) in length as an adult. It’s found exclusively in the high mountains of Nepal. These hearty insects forage for nectar 13,500 feet above sea level, roaming vast fields of local rhododendron flowers.
If this weren’t inaccessible enough, the bees build their hives along sheer cliff walls. The nests hang heavy with honey hundreds of feet above the rocky terrain below. They don’t always take kindly to visitors, and when the local honey hunters come calling, they’re quick to mount a defense.
These bees play a central role in Nepalese culture. The mystical, medicinal honey they create is a critical part of the local villagers’ daily lives, as a medicine and a spiritual messenger.
HIMALAYAN HONEY HUNTERS
Honey hunting can be a dangerous job, but it has been done for millennia, and it’s still the best method for harvesting mad honey while preserving the bees and their hives for the future.
There are only scant moments during the process where the honey hunter isn’t at risk from stings, cuts, vertigo, and an unplanned meeting with the ground below. While compatriots light fires at the base of the cliff to pacify the giant bees, the honey hunters crawl carefully down from the cliff edge, scrabbling cautiously down handmade rope ladders.
The wafting smoke helps to slow the bees, but their stings still come fast and often. But this doesn’t dissuade the hunters that laugh off the stings like they do the dizzying heights. From their tenuous perch, they reach out across the void and cleave away chunks of honeycomb with large sticks, sending it crashing to the ground below.
It’s risky work, but the rewards are well worth it, both for the hunter and for you.
Himalayan honey has a long history, dating back thousands of years, and mad honey generally has been a fixture among world cultures dating back to the dawn of civilization. Now you can unite mind, body, and spirit without ever setting foot on a mountain. Bring Himalayan Honey into your home today!