Honey is Life

New Internationalist Magazine  9/1/12  via Ethnobeeology

‘Bees are part of our life... a bee is not just another insect like a fly or mosquito. It is special, all life depends on it...'

The Kattunayakan are tribal people who live deep in the forests of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve in South India. They collect and sell wild honey. Today, settlers from the crowded plains and eviction from the forest reserve threaten both their land and their traditions. Mari Marcel Thekaekara accompanied a group of Kattunayakan on one of their forays into the jungle.

Kattunayakan honey harvesters can tell from the ground whether a hive 60-80 feet up in the air has honey or not and whether it is worth the effort to climb the...

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Photo by: Tarsh and Tariq Thekaekara.