November 6, 2015
Deep in the caves of the Himalaya Mountains, a special species of bee exists which produces hallucinogenic honey.
When people seek solitude, simplicity and ‘enlightenment’ they often venture to a cave – metaphorically or literally – to shun the influence of the world and go within.
The mountains in Nepal are a popular destination to those who desire to glean wisdom from humble silence. In the same area, however, there is another teacher who, locals say, can be quite powerful…
Deep in the caves of the Himalaya Mountains, a bee that produces what locals call “mad honey” exists, reports Curious Meerkat. Mad, or red honey, is produced by Apis dorsata laboriosa, or the Himalayan Cliff Bee. The bee is the largest in the world and makes an incredibly unusual honey which is said to have hallucinogenic effects.
Because the Apis dorsata make honey out of Rhododendron flowers, a beautiful – but toxic – flower which which is poisonous to humans and contains grayanotoxins, the honey made from the nectar is quite a trip.
In small quantities, it relaxing and is purported to have numerous health benefits. It is described as rather pleasant, if not intoxicating. In larger doses, true mad honey, Rhododendron poisoning (or honey intoxication) can take place. This causes vomiting, muscle weakness and heart irregularities.
Though it is harmful in high doses, locals will go to remarkable lengths to get their hands on the rare honey. The brief documentary above goes into more depth to describe the honey and the intriguing reasons it is sought after.