Wild Honey

Watching bees in her garden led this month’s featured writer, Clare Finnimore, on a research trail that took her all the way to Nepal, and a poem that pays tribute to the courage of the men who risked their lives collecting wild mountain honey.

Clare said: ‘I began by thinking about the power of small things and my research took me to an amazing film about the honey hunters.’

Made by the world’s largest honeybees, the mountain honey’s psychotropic properties have made it a traditional medicine in Kulung culture. These days it also fetches high prices in Kathmandu and so there is financial pressure on the hunters to risk their lives. At the same time, possibly due to climate change, the bees are moving higher into the mountains, making the work even more dangerous.

The film that inspired the poem can be find online by searching ‘The Last Honey Hunter’.

In a past life, before acquiring a guide dog, Clare worked as an occupational therapist both for the NHS and local authorities. She has an MA in creative writing from the University of Gloucestershire, and in scriptwriting at Bath Spa University. You can read her poem ‘Wild Honey’ here.

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