Part 2 : Why do we source our honey from Sundarbans?

Age of contamination

Contamination of honey production

There are many ways in which the process of honey production is adulterated today. Some of the ways in which contamination occurs include: 

  1. Bees are fed sugar solution because of depleting flora in the area.
  2. The flowers which the bees feed on are covered with pesticides.
  3. The bees are fed anti-biotics so that the hives are not destroyed because of bacterial infection
  4. Honey obtained from the hives are heated at very high temperatures to maintain uniformity across honey harvests and thus depleting the honey of all its anti-oxidant properties and other goodness.
  5. Honey is also heated at high temperatures to prevent crystallization (Crystallization here does not refer to sugar crystallization but of pure honey. Read this for more info)
  6. Addition of High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar and other such harmful substances to honey

Process of honey collection in Sundarbans Forest

Sundarbans is a protected forest area and thus any contamination of flora or fauna can cause an irreversible chain reaction affecting the biological diversity of this region. Therefore, pesticides, anti-biotics or any other harmful substances cannot be administered to the flowers or bees in the forest area or nearby.

Traditional dwellers in Sundarbans region called Mawali’s have collected honey and wax for their livelihood for generations. Honey collection primarily starts in April and goes on till June. During this season, every forest dependent community collects a single pass for honey collection and BLC (Boat License Certificate) pass for a boat to enter into the Sundarbans from the local office of the forest department.

A group of Mawali people with the required permits collect honey from the Sundarbans within a specific time and from specific parts of the forest under the local administration. After collection, the honey is submitted to the Mahajan(money lenders), local open market or cooperative societies.

I came across a wonderfully detailed article here that explains the process of honey collection in Sundarbans, the bio diversity present in the forest and details about the Mawali lifestyle.

What happens after the honey is collected?

At NutriGrove, we source the honey from local dwellers and filter it to remove bee larvae and any such residue that may be left over from the hive and bottle them. The range of honeyflavours offered is naturally obtained based on which flowers the bees feed on. No flavours are added.

Conclusion

In order to consume pesticide free, contamination free pure mangrove forest honey, Padma modhuas or lotus honey as the local dwellers would call it, Order here!


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