Honey hunters in Nepal have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. And as Andrew Newey’s photos show, they also have one of the most scenic. The award-winning British photographer spent months gaining the trust of the local Gurung villagers before accompanying them on their dangerous pilgrimage up the mountains, and the results are stunning.
Using only basic equipment such as ropes, ladders and poles, the hunters extract honey from cliff faces in the Himalayas while suspended up to 90 metres in the air. The price for their sweet, sweet bounty? Blisters, bloody limbs and, of course, bee stings – though death itself is also not uncommon.
Sadly, the thousand-year-old tradition is under threat from over-harvesting by unscrupulous operators seeking to profit from the rising value of the red spring honey in China, Korea and Japan. Add to this the general bee apocalypse wiping out our honey-making friends the world over, and things start to look pretty bad for bee and beekeeper alike. Fingers and wings crossed something changes for the better, soon.