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Omani honey in great demand due to its medicinal properties
July 25, 2015 | 8:35 PM
 
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Muscat: People rush to buy Omani honey whenever it is available, and use it in food and even for medicinal purposes, which is also a reason for its high price and shortage .

There are numerous types of honey, but the finest variety and the most famous is "Al Baram”, or “A'Sumar," named after "Acacia tortilis" which is usually light black in colour.

Then there is "A'Sidr" (jujube tree) honey, which is light brown in colour.

Honey is usually collected throughout the year, but the finest types are those that are produced from March until the end of May.



The search for honey is practiced by observing bees, which come to drink water, especially early in the morning. Beekeepers observe honeybees either with the naked eye or through binoculars. They try to determine the direction in which the bees fly. They begin searching in caves or on certain trees in the mountains, in farms, in addition to palm groves and various other trees.

After finding the hives the beekeepers decide, depending on their experiences, how much honey is in the hives based on their size. They collect the honey if the hive is large, but if it is small they wait until the honey is ready to be collected.



Both men and women take part in collecting honey, and sometimes even children take part, either in groups or individually. Some may move from one place to another in search of honey, sometimes for long distances, which may include valleys or mountains or neighbouring areas, while others do not go beyond their area of residence.

Beekeepers noiselessly remove honeybees from the upper part of the hive where the honey is stocked. To protect themselves from bee stings, they wear clothes that completely cover the body, including the face, and use gloves to cover their hands.

After cutting away the upper part of the hive, the beekeepers put the hives back in their original place to use again. Sometimes, they move the hive to a new place, if they find it more appropriate than the previous location.

After collecting the honey, beekeepers filter it for impurities and pack it in glass bottles or customised metal cans which are is used either in food, for medicinal purposes, etc.

The price of honey varies according to quality, age, availability and demand. Prices begin from OMR60 and can go to more than OMR100.

Omanis are keen to have honey on their dining tables, especially during Eids when they eat meat and honey, or with a local dish called "Al Joula" in which honey is a major addition. They also use it for medicinal purposes as honey helps to speed up healing, particularly the Al Holi brand which is more than a year old because it is more useful for treatment. Honey helps strengthen the body and prevents weakness.

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