Wax, Pollen, and Honey in the Market
Sold by the kilo, market wax is not very clean or appealing, and is often impure, as well, blended with who knows what.
Collected from countless floral species, both wild and domestic, then packed by the bees and mixed with honey, pollen is not consumed by Cambodians in its raw form—or any other form, for that matter—but is simply discarded by most local honey-hunters and rafter beekeepers. It is, however, collected by some, who then sell it on to "honey"-makers in urban areas.
Pure Cambodian wild honey is a fragrant and delightful multi-floral blend of forest and countryside nectar that varies in colour and flavour from week to week, during the short, ever-changing season.
All too frequently, however, as you'll see in the photos below, honey--sold by the litre in Cambodian markets--is disgusting to look at, and tastes like sugar syrup. There’s a reason for this: first, bees, larvae, bits of pollen, and wax are all part of the mix; second, it actually is—more often than not—sugar syrup (a blend of water, sugar, and pollen), home-made in cities and towns, and dressed up to look and taste like the real thing. It doesn’t; but then, most buyers have never tasted pure Cambodian honey, so they don’t know. With no sense of moral obligation, even expatriate entrepreneurs have been in on the act, marketing home-made sugar syrup as Pure, Wild, or Natural Honey; and honey from Thailand, as Cambodian—thus duping tourists, as well as the general public.
Over the years, Bees Unlimited has worked with rafter beekeepers and honey-hunters, demonstrating proper honey-harvesting, filtering, and storage techniques, as well as wax processing; and provided them the opportunity to obtain higher prices for their better-quality products--always encouraging them to sell nothing but the real thing.
Unauthorized use of any or all of these photos without consent of the author is prohibited. Dani Jump©.