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Sidr Honey of Yemen
Traditional Beekeping
Home | The Highly Esteemed Sidr Honey | Traditional Beekeping | Sidrat al-Muntaha | Traditional Remedy

 
 
An important factor affecting a honey's curative qualities is purity. Only crude, unprocessed honey has shown to be effective.
 
On the global market, raw, organic honey is very rare. This is because modern agriculture has introduced chemicals into the previously untainted environment of the bee hive. Not only are chemical residues carried in on the pollens and nectars that bees gather, chemicals and antibiotics are used by beekeepers to control mites and other bee diseases in the hive. This practice is so widespread globally, making organic honey difficult to produce.
 
In Yemen the method of beekeeping has always been a traditional one, from one generation to another. No machinery used in extracting the honey from uncultivated plants. All are done using their hands ....

 
Traditional Beekeeping in Eastern Yemen

A stop at Hajarayn, in Wadi Dawan, gave me the opportunity to meet a group of nomadic beekeepers working along the wadi, and to collect information about their activities and organization. The following is an extract from the recorded interview carried out at the time...
 
"My name is Mubarak, from the Numan tribe and I am a beekeeper. I move with the bees using my pickup. Wherever I go, where there is vegetation, where the rain has fallen, where there are plants. Winter honey is the best honey, of high quality, the most highly appreciated.
 
We bring up the bees ourselves. We capture wild swarms in the mountains and the rest we buy at the annual bee market Hives are made of mud, of clay For us there is little danger from the stings; we are used to them, they do not hurt. Even if I get stung a hundred times! There is no venom We are very experienced.
 
 

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To extract the honey we use smoke that forces the bees to come out and move away. Then we take off the cover and the comb is extracted with a knife. It is put into boxes or larger containers by hand. We do not use equipment; everything is done using our hands and some smoke
Arabs have kept bees for a long time, since the time of the Quran, God knows, perhaps even before the Prophet Honey takes prime place in traditional Arab medicine.
 
We will stay in this area for forty days, then we will extract the honey and move camp going northwards, for 3 or 4 hours by car. When we see the right place, where rains have fallen, we stop. Rain falls in spring, a little in summer, and then in autumn; in winter there is not much rain and it is cold.
 
There is no fatigue in this work, we only get tired when we move. We have to load the pickup and then unload We leave at night, after sunset. We travel, we unload, everything has to be finished before the light of dawn We move from place to place with Gods blessings, together with the bees, depending on the seasons..."