Not the most sustainable practice, but how it's always been done in India, nonetheless...
A family business that specializes in the art of collecting honey from wild hives without the use of gloves, or any other significant protection! Taking down the hive, extracting the honey from it MANUALLY with bare hands and finally selling it to the customers - all of this is shown in the traditional method to get rid of an inconsequential or pesky beehive (depending on how you look at it!), the only way of earning a living for these people.
Active beehive being incinerated to the ground. A honey-collector straddles a large bee-hive on a tree, smokes the bees out of it, with a bucket in one hand and a sickle in the other. He cuts the hive, in sections, to the ground, to be collected by his assistant. The bees scatter in the heat of the moment...
Collecting honey - the traditional way
Apparently the use of pesticides and fertilizers has hit honey-bees badly, so maybe we should change the way honey is extracted in India so that the hives themselves are not destroyed. Maybe commercial apiaries are actually not that bad, as the colonies are not hurt...?
Either way, if honey bees were to disappear, commercial agriculture as we know it today, world-wide, would not survive and human beings would being to starve!
Beekeeping (or apiculture, from Latin apis, bee) is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. A beekeeper (or apiarist) keeps bees in order to collect honey and other products of the hive (including beeswax, propolis, pollen, and royal jelly), to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. A location where bees are kept is called an apiary or "bee yard".
Depictions of humans collecting honey from wild bees date to 15,000 years ago, efforts to domesticate them are shown in Egyptian art around 4,500 years ago. Simple hives and smoke were used and honey was stored in jars, some of which were found in the tombs of pharaohs such as Tutankhamun. It wasn't until the 18th century that European understanding of the colonies and biology of bees allowed the construction of the moveable comb hive so that honey could be harvested without destroying the entire colony.
This footage is part of the professionally-shot broadcast stock footage archive of Wilderness Films India Ltd., the largest collection of HD imagery from South Asia. The Wilderness Films India collection comprises of tens of thousands of hours of high quality broadcast imagery, mostly shot on HDCAM 1080i High Definition, HDV and XDCAM. Write to us for licensing this footage on a broadcast format, for use in your production! We are happy to be commissioned to film for you or else provide you with broadcast crewing and production solutions across South Asia. We pride ourselves in bringing the best of India and South Asia to the world... Reach us at wfi @ vsnl.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.