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The Honey Hunters - UNDP Indonesia Blog
Armed with a steel blade, a bucket and a whole lot of courage, this hunter is ready. He ties a t-shirt around his head, leaving a small gap to see through. A rope is fastened around his waist attached to a plastic bucket. Wedged into the back of his pants is a long, sharp knife with a heavy wooden handle. He’s about to climb barehanded 30 meters up one of Indonesia’s largest trees, the majestic Boan tree. Just another day in the office for the Sumbawan honey hunter. When rainfall was steady, flowers bloomed and bees were productive. For a five-day trip, hunters can make up to one million rupiah ($80 USD) per person. This is a fortune considering the average rice farmer would earn a fifth of that in one week. But many will tell you rainfall has been different in the last couple of years. They say more rain means flowers aren’t blossoming and bees aren’t pollinating.