People risk their lives to gather this rare tree-top honey. Collectors climb 250 foot trees in the jungle to find rare nectar hidden in Malaysia’s tualang trees, all the while getting stung by giant rock bees.
The honey hunters climb in the trees with makeshift ladders. Using a torch, they hit the tree to disturb the bees and draw them out so they have time to collect the honeycomb. Sometimes the hunters get stung until they are swollen all over.
The tualng honey is expensive, because it’s so hard to get — it’s about $17 a pound. What’s more, there’s more demand than the hunters can supply. The honey is said to have natural healing benefits and is used in medicines.
The honey hunters have been gathering the honey this way for generations, but the practice is starting to die out. Younger people aren’t as interested in harvesting and the hunters have noticed the number of beehives dwindling. This is pretty understandable, considering you have to get stung over and over again in order to procure it. The honey seems like pretty special stuff, but enticing people to go through all of that pain and puffiness likely isn’t that easy to do.