What Is Tualang Honey?

“If the bee disappeared from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.”

- Albert Einstein

This statement reflects the major role played by bees in conserving the ecosystem and thereby sustaining human life. However, only a few realise the importance of bees, apart from the simple fact that they produce honey. In fact, bees perform a major function in indicating and maintaining a balanced ecosystem, as a natural pollinator, and consequently in supplying and securing food for humankind. In addition, bee by-products including honey, propolis, bee venom and beebread offer various applications for example as a natural sweetener and medical
benefits ~ Dr Wan Iryani, University Science of Malaysia.

What Is Tualang Honey?

Malaysian Tualang Honey is a multifloral jungle honey produced by the rock bee (Apis dorsata). They are typically around 17–20 mm (0.7–0.8 in) long. Nests are mainly built in exposed places far off the ground, like on tree limbs, under cliff overhangs, and sometimes on buildings. These social bees are known for their aggressive defense strategies and vicious behavior when disturbed. 

Gigantic Tualang tree

Tualang here refers to tall trees which can grow up to 88 metres tall. You can see the below is a picture of a very old Tualang tree, and we are just tiny little people standing next to its roots.

 

Tualang honey actually refers to the honey collected wildly from various plants in the surrounding area of these gigantic trees. The bees mostly feed from the wild plants and herbs available in the rainforest and make beehives on Tualang tree. Hence the honey called Tualang Honey. To find out more about which blooms that the bees feed from, we have gathered some pictures and observe the bees behaviour for over two years and excitedly sharing them with you in our blog section. 

Colours Of Tualang Honey &  Crystallization in Honey

  

We have so many questions asking us about black and red tualang honey.Tualang honey commonly available in brownish/reddish colour. 

However, depending on the area where we harvest, we also getting yellow tualang honey which harvested in very deep jungle. From our discussion with the lab assistant who helped us with the honey test, the yellowish honey has more ascorbic acid, which interprets the high contain in Vitamin C, while the darker one has higher phenolic acid an indication of higher anti oxidant property.

In the earlier years of my business, I was very wary when the honey crystallizes and it made me thinking that there was something wrong with the honey. 

However, through experience, I have tested many seasons of tualang honey. Some of the honey, was refrigerated some of them kept at room temperature. To my surprise, even though the honey was harvested from the same tree and harvested at the same time, there will be crystallization in some and not in some of the honey.

So, when you see the honey like that, do not jump out of your pants! In fact, many people are loving the taste of the crystallized honey and it has strong pleasant smell of flowers and you can really taste the texture in your mouth which quickly melt as it touches the warmth in your mouth.

Why our Tualang Honey

We are a team of locals, residing near the jungle area and most of us started honey harvesting since we were young. Our harvest usually starts in April and ends in Oct/November with some weeks earlier or later. During the harvest season, we camp near the harvest area, and wake up surrounded by tall trees and the swarming bees. Occasionally we hear sounds which we could not heard of, it gives us the chill but it never stops us from doing what we do best, climb the 130ft tall trees and harvest the honey.