Nepalese men risk their lives hunting for honey

For many cultures, honey hunting is a tradition that spans thousands of years. First recorded evidence on rock paintings suggests that this practice might date back as far as 8,000 BC.  For the Gurung tribespeople of Nepal, honey hunting takes place twice a year.  In order to reach bee nests they must climb 200 to 300 feet up steep, inaccessible cliffs using very little equipment.  Most honey hunters don’t even use any protective gear to prevent bee stings.

This honey hunting tradition, however, is in danger.  Due to the foreign demand for Nepalese honey, the government is looking into opening these cliffs to contractors for exploitation.  Tourism is another threat to this practice.  Honey hunters now charge tourist money to stage honey hunting expeditions.

Photographer Andrew Newey, whose work you see below, spent sometime searching for tribespeople who were not disingenuous about this practice in order to document this fantastic ritual.

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nepal-honey-hunters-4Honey hunting sometimes proves to be deadly due to the nature of the terrain.

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