Hadramout honey, known for its rich, strong flavor, is famous throughout Arabia and is claimed to be the best (and is certainly the most expensive) honey in the world. It is used medicinally, as well as for food.
Bee keeping is probably one of the oldest forms of food gathering in the region, as evidenced by rock engravings in the areas, and at one time practically every house in Wadi Doan had a beehive.
There is a variety of types of hive, including bored – out logs with removable wooden ends.
These are usually made from the sukam (Cordia abyssinica), a broad – leaved evergreen tree which grows around the edges of fields along the wadi floors (in is also used as a shade tree in highland coffee plantations). .
There are two honey crops a year – November to March and June to August – with the honey harvested on the comb to ensure purity. The climate and the type of flora are crucial to the quality of the honey.
Many beekeepers are nomadic, moving into areas where there are flowers for the bees to live off. The highest-quality honey comes from bees fed on natural flora such as desert bushes and the blossom of the (ilb and sibr trees, rather than in cultivated vegetation areas.
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