BHUTAN APICULTURE ACTIVITIES
Bhutan Sour Honey locally called "Putka Honey" is a superfood harvested by the stingless bees called Melipona under the tribe of Meliponini.
Stingless Bee Melipona forages in the protected regions of Bhutan between 700 to 1500 meters above sea level at Lokchina Gewog, Chukha District.
Bhutanese Beekeepers do not use harmful pesticides and synthetic fertilisers. They are only relying on Stingless Bee to pollinate their crops and natural manure to increase their yields.
This amicable relationship with nature ensures the quality of the honey and sustainable ecosystem.
APIS MELLIFERA COMPARISON W/ STINGLESS BEE MELIPONA
Unlike the farmed European honey bees (Apis Mellifera), Stingless Bee Melipona has a high tolerance to predators and diseases because of their size and extensive use of propolis, which serves as germicidal and repellent.
Due to their stingless bee Melipona's small size, they collect nectar within a radius of 300-500 meters of the hive. Hence while farmed European honey bees can produce around 25kg of honey a colony per year, these stingless honey bees produce only around 700g of honey a settlement per year.
STINGLESS BEE MELIPONA ANATOMY
Stingless Bee Melipona is much smaller in size as compared to the usual yellow and black honeybees; about three to five millimetres in size, and a slimmer body structure.
SUSTAINABLE APICULTURE PRACTICE IN BHUTAN
Bhutan farmers will leave at least 37% of the honey for the colony. Harvesting is done only during the honey flow of the mandarin orange seasons (November to January).
STINGLESS BEE SOUR HONEY PROPERTIES
Putka Honey is a high level of propolis that contains Phenolic, Flavonoids and Cinnamic acid derivatives.
Propolis is a complex resinous material that bees collect from tree exudates primarily resins of leaf bud and other botanical sources. It contains all 16 amino acids, glucose, vitamins A, B, C, D and E, bioflavonoids and minerals.
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Storage - Raw honey does not require to be kept in the refrigerator. Keep at room temperature.