Cambodia In search of the giant honey bee, Apis dorsata

We have just come back from a trip to Cambodia where we were lucky enough get involved with a honey harvest of wild Apis Dorsata bees with a local honey hunter. Here are some of the pictures. The honey hunter erected a rafter ( a large straight branch of wood) which seem to be just the ideal nesting position for the wild bees. The bees build their nest on the rafter and when the honey is ready the honey hunter smokes the bees away and cuts down the honey head. The bees will replace the honey and the process can be repeated. Historically the honey hunters were more inclined to cut down the whole strucutre and eat the larvae but they are now encourage to collect just the honey which gets a good price with the tourists hotels.

It was an amazing experience to be there and see it first hand.

7 thoughts on “Cambodia In search of the giant honey bee, Apis dorsata

  1. Soknay

    There are a few bee keepers in Cambodia, but mostly for hobby and mostly they has become a bee hunter rather than rearing. If you wish to experience with local bee, dwarf bee, dorsata, florea.f or Ceren, please contact me via the given #.

  2. Philippe Vercammen

    Hello,
    I am a beekeeper from Belgium (Europe) and I am visiting Cambodia from 24 Februari until 22 March 2012. I really would like to see some of the bees during my stay. I am planning to go to Siam Reap the second week of my vacation could you get me in contact with the beekeepers or honeyhunters overthere.

  3. AJ

    Great photos Brian of these wonderful creatures!
    i know Danny and i recognise the honey-hunter – we made a video together 2 years ago…it was right at the end of the season so he cut the whole comb…a great thrill to be in the thick of the bees, and i love the smoker he makes…all from natural materials gathered in the forest close to each nest…
    @Jaquie Bunse – sorry i didn’t see your comment sooner…i hope you still had an encounter with the great Apis Dorsata :-)

    Peace

  4. Jaquie Bunse

    My husband and I will be in Cambodia, Siem Reap area around June 7 to 9th 2011. We would like to get in touch with Danny Jump to see A dorsata. I’m a beekeeper in British Columbia. Please help with contact information for Danny or another person who could take us on a trip to see the bees.

    Many thanks in advance.

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