Himalayan Honey Aligns Mind, Body and Spirit

How Big Is The Himalayan Honey Bee?

The Himalayan honey bee is a species of large honey bee native to the Himalayan mountains. It can also be found in parts of India and Nepal. Himalayan honey bees are quite large, reaching up to 3.0cm in length. They have black bodies with yellow stripes on their abdomens. While they are smaller than carpenter bees, these honey bees are larger than bumblebees. In this article, we will explore the unique characteristics and habits of the Himalayan honey bee, as well as the role it plays in the natural ecosystem.

Are You Curious About The Size Of The Himalayan Honey Bee? 

The Himalayan Honey Bee, also known as Apis laboriosa, is the largest honeybee in the world. It's known for its boldness and vigor, often seen flying farther distances than its relatives. They typically live in hives or colonies up to about 9,800 ft above ground level. An adult worker may reach sizes up to 3 cm long.

With an incredible capacity for flight and robustness that allows them to ascend great heights, it can be said that bees like Apis laboriosa are among nature's greatest superheroes! Additionally, as pollinators, the Himalayan honey bee also plays an important role in sustaining the Earth's biodiversity by helping plants reproduce efficiently. Sit tight as we unveil more about the Himalayan Honey bee.

The Biggest Honey Bees

The Himalayas Apis laboriosa are some of the largest honey bees. They are found in the high altitudes of the Himalayan mountains, where they can grow as large as 1.2 inches long! This makes them much larger than the average European honey bee. The red honey these giant bees produce is notable for its red color, medicinal properties, and intense flavor.

Popularly known as Mad honey, Himalayan honey is typically collected during autumn and late spring, when production peaks and is most potent. It has been used for centuries to treat ailments such as arthritis and stomach disorders due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties. 

4 Popular Types of Honey Bees:

  1. The rock bee: These are properly known as Apis dorsata. They are giant bees found all over India in sub-mountainous regions up to 2700 m. They construct a single comb about 6 feet long and 3 feet deep in the open.
  2. The Indian hive bee: Indian hive bee, also known as the Asian bee, is a domesticated species that construct multiple parallel combs with an average autumn honey yield of 6-8 kg per colony per year. These bees are larger than Apis florae but smaller than Apis mellifera. They are more prone to swarming and absconding.
  3. The European or Italian bee: (Apis Mellifera Ligustica) is a subspecies of the Western Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera). The Italian Honey Bee is the most widely distributed of all honey bees. The Italian Honey Bee originates from the Ligurian Alps, a mountainous range in northwest Italy.
  4. Dammer bee or stingless bee: The Indian stingless bee or dammar bee, Tetragonula iridipennis, belongs to the family Apidae, subfamily Apinae. It was first described by Frederick Smith in 1854, who found the species on the island of Sri Lanka.

Who are Honey Hunters?

Himalayan honey hunters are renowned for their dangerous annual expeditions in search of wild honey. Their profession involves scaling steep and treacherous mountain cliffs at an elevation of up to 4,000 meters to collect honey from wild bee hives. It is a tradition passed through generations of families and is a way of life for many in the region.

The product of Himalayan honey hunting(Himalayan honey) is believed to have incredible medicinal properties and can allegedly cure several ailments. It also has a distinctive flavor unlike anything found in any commercially available honey. With the help of advanced safety equipment, these expert climbers continue to scale some of the most dangerous vertical cliffs in pursuit of this valuable and extraordinary delicacy.

4 Science-Backed Benefits Of Honey And Which Type Is Healthiest For You

Adding mad honey to various foods can make fresh pastries, hot tea, and other things more nutritious. Honey has many health advantages besides being delicious, including decreasing cholesterol and promoting wound healing.

Here are four honey benefits supported by science and advice on choosing the right kind for you.

  1. Honey has antioxidant properties

Antioxidants combat free radicals in the body. Free radicals are chemicals produced through bodily processes such as metabolizing food or from outside sources like pollution.

In large quantities, free radicals can damage genetic material and cells, possibly increasing one's risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Honey is capable of eliminating these free radicals.

There are numerous antioxidants in honey, including:

  • Glucose oxidase
  • Ascorbic acid, which is a form of vitamin C
  • Phenolic acids
  • Flavonoids

  1. Honey Lowers Cholesterol 

Honey also can potentially lower cholesterol levels, particularly LDL levels, the so-called "bad" cholesterol. A person's risk of cholesterol may increase with high LDL levels.

Common signs of high cholesterol levels include:

  • Angina (chest discomfort) (chest pain)
  • Heart condition
  • chest pain
  • Stroke

  1. Honey Soothes Coughs 

According to nutritionist Divya L. Selvakumar, Ph.D., RD, honey's anti-inflammatory effects have also been shown to help with coughing relief. Also, a study done in Israel that looked at how honey helped children with night cough from one to five years old, children who took honey showed a statistically significant improvement and reduction in their coughing symptoms. This conclusion was made after observing the subjects who took 10 mg of eucalyptus honey, citrus honey, Labiatae honey, or a placebo.

  1. Honey Promotes Wound Healing 

Studies have demonstrated that honey can accelerate wound healing and recovery owing to its antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties aid in preventing infections and enhancing the immune system, thereby promoting the healing process.

Topical use of honey has been known to alleviate the symptoms of:

  • Burns and wounds 
  • Boils 
  • External ulcers 
  • Pilonidal sinus, a hole that occurs in the skin above the butt 
  • Abrasions 
  • Punctures 
  • Lacerations

Himalayan Giant Honey Bee

Colonies are often much larger than European honey bees, with as much as 60 kg (130 lb) of honey in a single nest. These colonies build their nests on cliffs and rocky overhangs, where they can remain safe from predators and benefit from strong air currents that help regulate their temperature.

They also build multiple nests in the same area, so they can easily move their colony if needed. The Bees forage up to 4 km away from their nests and can fly higher than most other bee species, reaching heights of up to 3000 meters.

Primary products of beekeeping:

  • Honey: The honey produced by the Himalayan giant honey bee is typically red in color and has a unique flavor different from that of traditional honey. 
  • Wax: The wax produced by the bee is also of higher quality than other honey bees, making it ideal for use in cosmetics and medicinal products.
  • Pollen: Pollen collected from the Himalayan giant honey bee is also highly and widely used in various products, such as dietary supplements and traditional medicines.
  • Propolis:  Propolis is a resinous substance collected from various bee hives, including the Himalayan giant honey bee. It has many medicinal properties and can treat everything from coughs and colds to skin conditions.
  • Royal Jelly: Royal jelly is a secretion produced by honey bees, including the Himalayan giant honey bee, and is highly valued for its medicinal properties. It is often used as a dietary supplement to boost immunity and promote overall health and well-being. It is also used to enhance skin health.
  • Venom: The venom produced by the Himalayan giant honey bee is highly potent and has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat various illnesses.
  • Queens: The queen of the Himalayan giant honey bee is larger than other honey bees and can lay more eggs than traditional honey bees.
  • Bees: The Himalayan giant honey bee is big and hardy. They are also highly productive, and over 60 kilograms of honey can be harvested from a single nest.

Himalayan Cliff Honey Bee

The Himalayan cliff honey bee produces an authentic, unprocessed, and natural type of honey that originates from Nepal's Himalayan region. This distinctive and potent honey is considered a unique delicacy that can only be obtained by those willing to take risks and venture into the wild in search of it.

The 8 Relief and health gains from Using Himalayan Cliff Bee:

  1. Anxiety relief
  2. Stress reduction
  3. Relief from depression
  4. Improved sleep and relief from insomnia
  5. Alleviation of anemia symptoms
  6. Regulation of high blood pressure
  7. Boosting the immune system
  8. Support for heart health

Frequently Ask Questions About How Big The Himalayan Honey Bee? 

Q: Do Himalayan honey bees sting?

A: Yes, Himalayan honey bees can sting. However, they are not naturally aggressive and usually only sting if disturbed or threatened.

Q: What is Mad Honey Disease? 

A: Mad Honey Disease is a form of intoxication that occurs when grayanotoxin-containing leaves, flowers, or byproducts like honey are ingested. The symptoms include dizziness, low blood pressure, and atrial-ventricular block. The underlying cause of these symptoms is the inability to deactivate brain sodium ion channels, which leads to the persistent elevation of vagal tone.

Q: Do Himalayan honey make very large nests?

A: Yes, Himalayan giant honey bees are known to make large colonies in a single nest. They also build multiple nests in the same area, so they can easily move their colony if needed. This allows them to remain safe from predators and benefit from strong air currents that help to regulate their temperature.

Final Thoughts

Himalayan cliff bee honey is not only uniquely nutritious but also offers a multitude of health benefits. Furthermore, this honey is sustainably harvested, as beekeepers only collect what is naturally produced by the hive bees. Despite the challenging and unpredictable conditions that honey hunters must face to retrieve this spring honey, the effort is well worth it. The Himalayan giant honey bee creates exceptional quality spring honey that possesses a distinctively sweet taste.

Himalayan bees are also hardy and highly productive, making them ideal for beekeeping. Peculiar nesting behavior and their exceptional honey-producing capabilities make the Himalayan giant honey bee an ideal only bee species for both commercial and hobby beekeeping. Honey hunters, beekeepers, and consumers alike all benefit from the many benefits of this amazing species of Himalayan cliff bee.