The demand for forest bee honey, which in traditional medicine is the main ingredient used to cure back and knee ache, has been rising recently.
Ethnic minority people living in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang have therefore decided that to meet demand they should set-up bee farms near their homes.
The “forest bee”, Apis dorsata, is a large bee that eats flower nectar and small insects, such as grasshoppers, worms and smaller bees.
To set-up a farm, first they must catch a male bee in order to find a wild hive. Once a male bee has been caught a feather is attached to one of its legs with a piece of string, the bee is then released and the feather makes it possible to see the bee clearly in the forest and so it can be followed back to the hive where the feather is removed.
The local people then carefully move the hive from the forest and take it back to their homes where, after 7-9 months of farming, each hive can produce between 18 and 20 kilograms of honey.