OUR STORY 2018-07-03T08:01:26+00:00

Sundarbans honey

The Sundarbans is the single largest mangrove forest in the world and UNESCO declared Natural World Heritage site. There are a lot of animals and trees in Sundarbans ecosystem. According to the Department of Forest there are 334 species of trees available in this forest. The Bees collect honey from few mangroves and make hives on the branches of long trees. The Sundarbans is the main source of natural honey of Bangladesh. Almost 75% of the natural honey of Bangladesh comes from the Sundarbans. This honey is very much popular for its taste and quality. Near about 2000 honey collectors collect almost 132165 Kg Honey and 34265 Kg Wax from the Sundarbans.

The Sundarbans is the storehouse of trees. Some of main trees of this forest are Sundori, Kakra, Kewra, Poshur, Goran, Bain, Khalsi, Golpata (Nypa), Hental, Gewa, Hargoza, Jhana, Singra, Ora, Dhundol etc. There are 50 species of true mangroves identified in the world. Among 334 species of Sundarbans trees, there are 35 species of true mangroves available. Apart from 334 species of the Sundarbans, there are 165 species of Algae, 13 species of Orchid and 17 species of Fern are available. Bees generally make hives on high and big trees like Bain, Kakra, Poshure, Kewra etc. But it doesn’t mean that hive that is found on the tree is full with honey from the flower of that very tree. It completely depends on the availability of flowers in the Sundarbans of that time.

The Sundarbans is the storehouse of trees. Some of main trees of this forest are Sundori, Kakra, Kewra, Poshur, Goran, Bain, Khalsi, Golpata (Nypa), Hental, Gewa, Hargoza, Jhana, Singra, Ora, Dhundol etc. There are 50 species of true mangroves identified in the world. Among 334 species of Sundarbans trees,  there are 35 species of true mangroves available. Apart from 334 species of the Sundarbans, there are 165 species of Algae, 13 species of Orchid and 17 species of Fern are available. Bees generally make hives on high and big trees like Bain, Kakra, Poshure, Kewra etc. But it doesn’t mean that hive that is found on the tree is full with honey from the flower of that very tree. It completely depends on the availability of flowers in the Sundarbans of that time.

The Season of Honey collection in Sundarbans

Honey is collected from 1 April to 30 June (According to Bangla calendar from the end of Chaitra to Ashar) in every year. Honey collectors can collect honey with the permission of Forest Department this time in every year. But the honey collectors collect honey from 1 April to 31 May because they get more honey in this time. Forest Department arranges the Ghatmil ceremony on 1st April in every year. They cut a Bee hive and make officially announcement for honey collection. In this ceremony, Forest Department fires 3 rounds of blank shots. The honey collectors groups enter the forest after hearing firing sound to collect honey. In this way, the honey collection period starts. Now a day firing is no more.

Mowal

The people who collect honey for maintaining their life and livelihood are locally known as Mowal. Honey collection is one of the most risky profession among collecting different resources from the Sundarbans. Mowals have their own traditional and exceptional ways to collect honey which they learn from generation after generation. In this way, the family members of Mowal’s involve in this profession. They Collect honey from the Sundarbans in a specific time (April-May) in a year. In the other times of the year they collect fish/crab and other resources from the forest and work as day laborer to earn their livelihood. Only male are given permission from the forest department to collect honey from the Sundarbans.

Socio-Economic Condition of the Mowal

The honey collectors live their life with much difficulties and sufferings. Only two months in a year they earn money from honey collection. They earn 25-40 thousands taka per person in season. The rest of the time they earn by collecting fish/ crab and by daily labor work. Actually, this two months earning is spent mainly for their whole year expenditure. Family expenditure and children education cost cause huge difficulties and sufferings for them. Before going to honey collection, they go to middlemen for money for the honey collection purpose. For this reason, they have to provide all their collected honey to middlemen. After deducting some honey as the payment of previous loan they buy the rest honey at a very cheap rate. As a result, the honey collectors could not engage them in natural honey marketing process due to lack of proper chances. So, their sufferings do not come to an end. They pass their life with too difficulties and a small amount of money which they get selling their hard earned honey facing so many risks during honey collection.

Translate »