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Mesmerizing & Nail-Biting: Watch Rock Climbers Harvest Honey From Cliffsides

Worker collecting honeycomb from a cliff in the Himalayas.

You could not pay me enough to do this job. Nope. Not for a kazillion, gazillion dollars. Science Girl found this video and reposted it on X (Twitter). We couldn’t stop watching it. However, there is no need for a “Do not try this at home” notice. These talented people have plenty of job security (unless the rope breaks).

The video is from Nepal, where indigenous people perform the honey harvest twice yearly. Although many climbers don full protective gear, some climb with bare arms, no gloves, and no head protection. The bees, known as Rock Bees, are quite aggressive. It is almost always fatal if a human receives seven or more stings.

Workers during a honey harvest on the cliffs of the Himalayas near Nepal.
Image from X.

Tens of thousands of bees are on each honeycomb “shelf.” The climbers use smoke to slow them down, but the bees are still everywhere. Some climbers use sticks to knock the bees away, while others use their gloved hands. One man was on a rope with no protective gear, swiping bees away with his bare hand! It was both frightening and fascinating.

Once they can access the honeycomb shelf, workers cut off chunks of the wax structure and place it in buckets they are carrying. The honeycombs are dripping with honey.

Workers breaking off chunks of honeycomb during a harvest of rock honey.
Image from X.

Two types of honey are harvested from the rocky cliffs of the Himalayas near Nepal. The first is very rich and said to have some medicinal properties. The other is nicknamed “mad honey” because it can cause hallucinations. Both are very expensive due to the difficulty in harvesting. Only a limited number of climbers are willing to go in pursuit of this sweet treat.

Please share this if you know someone who may want to apply as a climber.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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