The current condition of the Baduy community is still protected from the spread of the virus.
However, the impact of the virus has resulted in the Baduy tourist village being temporarily closed from tourists. The closure of the tourist attractions is aimed at preventing the spread of the virus in the midst of the Baduy community.
Some of the Baduy people who rely on the tourism sector for their livelihoods are experiencing economic difficulties. In order to survive, they continue to work by farming, weaving, and hunting forest honey traditions in their ancestral lands.
Its fertile and abundant natural wealth makes it easier for the Baduy tribe to get their daily needs.
Some Baduy people increase their income by hunting for honey in the forest. One of them is Kang Herman, who is an outside the Baduy community. He usually becomes a tour guide, in the village of the Baduy tribe. However, after this temporary closure, he hunts more forest honey to cover his household needs.
In Kanekes Village, Kang Herman and other Baduy residents harvest honey in the traditional way. They take honey from the hive or commonly called Odeng. Baduy honey is produced by wild bees that live freely and nest in protected forests on their ancestral lands.
Usually, Kang Herman and three other village relatives go on a honey hunt before the sun rises. They walked through the hills and forests for a 3-4 hour journey, only to arrive at the nearest location.
After arriving at a location in a protected forest or cultivated forest, they look for a location where the bees often nest. Bees nest in wild trees in the middle of the forest.
They harvest with the tools used, including Sige, Upet, knives, sacks, ropes, buckets, and sieves. Sige is a bamboo used for climbing, consisting of two parts, namely a Banthol (hook), which will be connected with a ledge.
After the preparation is complete, it begins with smoking, Upet is a smoke-making material. Usually, the tribute is made from leaves that are tied, then burned at the end. The results of burning leaves that are still a bit wet produce smoke. At the time of smoking, the bees will leave the hive in a short time they will return.
Climbers must quickly grab, otherwise, a swarm of bees will attack. By directly cutting the head of the nest that contains honey. Parts containing eggs, larvae, and pupae are left. So that the hope is that the nest will be filled with honey and can be harvested later.
“Usually bees build their nests from the beginning for about 18-20 days and after that, we can harvest, for one bee hive can be harvested 2-3 times,” said Kang Herman.
After we harvest we take them home and the yield from each nest usually varies greatly. If you are lucky or the nest is large, you can get 15-20 bottles of 500 ml in size, and if you are not lucky you can go home empty-handed.
The honey harvested in 500 ml bottles is sold to collectors, usually earning around Rp150,000 to Rp200,000.
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“Sharing the results in a family manner by looking at who often looks for honey to the forest, we work together for those who often go to the forest usually, he will get more but for the whole, we share the results,” said Kang Herman.
The Baduy honey produced is pure honey without a mixture, because these bees suck various types of wildflower juice so that the nutritional content in it is varied and natural and very beneficial for consumption.