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In a tradition that dates back to 8,000 BC, the intrepid honey hunters of Nepal brave the steep cliffs of the Himalayas to harvest honey from the world's largest honeybee, Apis laboriosa. Like mortals climbing their way to Olympus to taste the ambrosia of the ancient Greek gods, honey hunting is a long and dangerous endeavor. The hunters use rope ladders and must balance a basket and a long pole used to chisel away at a giant honey comb which contains up to two million bees, and catch it in the basket.

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The photographer, Eric Valli, has spent more than two decades in Nepal, photographing and documenting life in the Himalayas. Honey Hunters of Nepal has been made into both a book and a documentary since the release of this photo story in 1987.

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