Honey that heals wounds? UAE beekepers reveal secrets behind Dh1,200 mountain nectar

The rare Sidr and Samr varieties are available at the Hatta Honey Festival

by

SM Ayaz Zakir

/

Muhammad Sajjad

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KT Photos: Muhammad Sajjad
KT Photos: Muhammad Sajjad

Published: Wed 27 Dec 2023, 6:55 PM

Last updated: Thu 28 Dec 2023, 2:37 PM

The 8th edition of the Hatta Honey Festival has kicked off and is running until the end of this month. It has seen participation from 60 local beekeepers, who are showcasing the quality of their honey.

“All honey available here at the festival is the purest without any adulteration. However, Sidr and Samr honey are expensive because [they are made without] human intervention,” said Khalid Al Bedwawi, who is participating in the Hatta Honey Festival. The Sidr and Samr varieties can be priced up to Dh1,200 per kg.

Blossom honey

Hussain Al Jabri, co-founder at Rahiq Al Shahd, sells honey starting at Dh80 and going all the way up to Dh400 at his kiosk. “The cheapest honey at the festival is the blossom honey. The time frame for its production is about 4 months from November to March. [The bees] collect nectar from every flower and are not specific like the Sidr and Samr plant flowers. The taste and the quality of the honey is the purest but it [does not] have any medicinal value,” said Al Jabri.

Medical uses

“When it comes to Sidr honey, the time frame for the production is just 30 to 50 days... [during] this time, the honey bees find the Sidr plant, [extract] the nectar out of it and deposit it in the hive. Because of the short time frame and medicinal properties of the honey, the price shoots up,” said Al Jabri.

Sidr honey
Sidr honey

“[They are] produced by a specific group of honey bees in the remote mountainous regions of Hatta, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, and Al Ain. We keep the hive under observation periodically. Once the hive is ready, we have to go and remove it,” said Bedwawi.

Bedwawi added that the smaller the bee hive, the higher the price, as only specific bees work to make the honey. “After it grows other bees of different groups may interfere, which can affect the quality.”

The Sidr and Samr honey are made by bees specific to the region, in bee hives that are much smaller than regular ones, said Bedwawi.

The Sidr honey is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral, and is effective in treating many health conditions, such as stomach ulcers, and respiratory infections. It can even heal wounds.

The time frame for producing Samr honey is very short as well - it only lasts from May to June, when the flower of the Samr tree blossoms.

Samr honey, derived from the nectar of the Samr tree flourishing in remote areas, emerges as a precious mixture with distinct health benefits. The growth environment of the Samr tree, away from pollution, contributes to the honey's purity. “These trees grow in hilly areas of Ras Al Khamah, Fujairah, and Hatta. [They don't] grow on a plain land,” said Al Jabri.

Samr honey
Samr honey

“Samr honey is not just a sweet indulgence, but a natural remedy to boost immunity, fortify the heart muscle, and regulate blood pressure and much more," he added.

The Hatta Honey Festival offers a diverse and international honey experience by featuring a range of honey varieties from Turkey, Somalia, and Egypt as well.

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