The group went on a short hike the other day just up the hill above Chokati to see Ram Bahadur’s bees, and to taste their honey.
We started out walking on a nice easy road, but we quickly made our way onto a steep, narrow path. It had rained recently, so the rocks were slippery, and the leeches, or jugas, were out in full force.
As we made our way farther up, the jungle thickened, and stinging nettle and other spiky plants posed a threat at every turn. We got a brief break from the thick jungle when crossing a river, where we also saw a giant 3 foot long earthworm. Still being attacked by jugas, we harvested some sticks from the jungle to beat away the plants.
After about an hour we reached our destination. It was just a small log, with no bees and no hives and no honey. It was very anticlimactic. Ram Bahadur told us that the log is used to trap a queen bee, so that he can move the queen back to Chokati, and all the other bees will follow. It turns out that all the honey is made in Chokati right next to where we were staying!
Our journey led us further into the jungle until we finally spilled out onto an open hillside field, where there were no more jugas. At this point, our legs were covered in juga bites and blood. Pablo had 16 bites! However, we were rewarded with stunning views of Chokati from across the valley.
Photos – me milking Bessie, the view from Chokati to the north, and a Chokati sunset