A rare elixir made from the stingless bees in the Land of Happiness.
The Stingless Bees swarm around the thick and green vegetation, buzzing in rhythm while they store honey in sack-like wax structures. Their particular honey called Puthka honey in Bhutan is more commonly known as Melipona honey (scientific name: Meliponi) or stingless-bee honey in other parts of the world.
This nectar is scarcely available because these bees harvest honey only at an altitude of 700 to 1500 meters above sea level. Few regions of Bhutan have emerged as the perfect habitat for stingless bees’ honey to thrive on, and therefore facilitate the production of high-quality Melipona honey.
Puthka honey’s benefits have been widely recognized, making it an interesting item to keep in your pantry or in your pharmacy.
Here are the four of the most interesting facts about Puthka honey:
Its unique taste
Unlike regular honey, the taste of Melipona honey is uniquely delicious with a sweet-sour essence. It’s thinner and more syrup-like. The acidic nature of the honey exudes a tangy taste and has caught the attention of world-famous chefs, such as Rene Redzepi to implement stingless bees honey as a part of their recipe.
Its creation process
Melipona bees commonly known as stingless bees are generally smaller in size compared to regular honeybees. Their small sizes allow them to retrieve more nectars residing deeper in the floral nectaries. The most important portion of the Puthka honey is made of propolis (resinous mixture), formed when the bee salivates on its source of food production (bark, pollen, flowers). After collecting the nectar, the bees store it in their guts. Later, the nectar droplets are ripened through the spinning of the droplets inside their mouths, until honey is formed. Each stingless beehive is only capable of producing approximately 700 grams of honey per year making the Puthka honey very rare and precious.
Its collection process
Melipona bees produce Puthka honey by preserving it in wax structures. When the structures are broken down, the honey pots are squeezed in the form of a chemical-free(organic) product by the farmers of Bhutan.
Extracting Melipona honey is not an easy job because the nesting habits of the Melipona bees are unique and vary. They build their hives in hollow trees and shrubs, or even in termite mounds within or under the ground making it difficult for the farmers to reach them. Moreover, the extraction requires experience as people who have no knowledge of rearing or extracting the honey may destroy entire colonies (hives).
Its scientifically proven health benefits
Thanks to their small size, the Stingless Bees absorb more of the nutritious properties of the plants than other bees. With a higher nutritional value, this honey possesses greater benefits than the one produced by regular bees. Used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat many conditions such as eye, ear, respiratory, digestive, and postpartum conditions, its usage is becoming more common in modern medicine.
The nutrients available in Melipona honey are twice as much as the honey produced from regular bees. This honey offers anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial properties. These multi-therapeutic values have been shown to effectively treat tonsillitis and therefore cough and cold but also neutralize eye disorders such as cataracts. The chemo-preventive attribute of Melipona honey is believed to reduce the spreading of carcinogen cells and is often utilized as an anti-cancer diet in alternative medicine.
With such wondrous benefits, Melipona honey has become a superfood star in the health and wellness community where it is often consumed as an immunity booster to avert sickness. Melipona Honey is only available in a few countries around the globe, and in small quantities only. We are so proud and grateful to have it here in Bhutan and be able to offer it here on this platform: