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Sour honey from Bhutan is called "Putka Honey", harvested from the stingless bees called Melipona and it is considered a powerful superfood.
Beekeepers in Bhutan do not use pesticides and artificial fertilizers. They count on Stingless Bee to pollinate their crops and all-natural manure to raise their returns. This close connection with nature guarantees the high quality of the honey and also ensuring a strong ecological community.
Stingless Bee Melipona rummages in Bhutan's protected areas between 700m to 1500m over sea level at Lokchina Gewog, Chukha District.
APIS MELLIFERA VS STINGLESS MELIPONA BEES
Unlike the farmed European honey bees (Apis Mellifera), Stingless Bee Melipona has a high tolerance for harsh conditions. Many use propolis, which serves as germicidal as well as repellent. They are aboriginal of the exotic and sub-tropical stingless bees that mainly forage native plants and florescences of tall forest trees for floral nectar and pollen
Because of their stingless bee Melipona's small dimension, they accumulate nectar within a distance of 300-500 meters of the hive. Therefore while farmed European honey bees can generate around 25kg of honey a swarm per year, these stingless honey generate just about 700g of honey a swarm each year.
BEEKEEPING TECHNIQUE IN BHUTAN
Bhutan farmers leave 37% of the honey for the nest. Collecting is done only throughout mandarin harvesting orange season periods (November to January).
STINGLESS BEE HONEY VARIETY
Putka Honey has a high level of propolis which contains Phenolic, Flavonoids, and Cinnamic acid derivatives
Propolis is a complicated resinous material that bees accumulate from tree exudates, mostly resins of leaf bud and other organic residues. It contains all 16 amino acids, sugar, vitamins A, B, C, D and E, bioflavonoids, and minerals.
Studies have shown that Putka honey help anti-cancer, induction of apoptosis, induction of mitochondrial stress and anxiety, inhibition of cancer cells cell proliferation and tumour.
THE DARK APPEARANCE
Raw, Unheated, Unfiltered honey are drawn out and kept in its all-natural state; it has traces of plant pollen, propolis, bee components, and other natural impurities.
The fermentation takes place naturally within the propolis even after removal, creating and imbuing the honey with a vibrant and durable sweet-sour flavour
It has a more robust balsamic aroma and a sharper taste of propolis, promising to awaken even the most critical taste.
This honey in its raw state will develop and expand to offer a different sensory experience.
Stingless honey is exceptionally watery, an innate characteristic that may be related to the damp exotic habitat. The higher dampness material and the secretion of the enzyme from stingless bees stimulate fermentation in stingless bees honey.
The bountiful water condition invites beneficial microbe to flourish inside the honey, which also continues after post-harvesting.
THE REASON BEHIND THE SOUR TASTE
The resins consist of a hydrocarbon base and terpenes, affecting and infiltrating honey saved in the propolis honey shucks with a balsamic fragrance and taste.