To give you an idea of how one goes about collecting Tualang Honey, you first have to consider how raw honey is traditionally harvested -- which is to say that the beekeeper walks up to the hive and essentially asks the bees for some honey. They remove the frame from the apiary and use a smoker to keep the otherwise relatively docile bees calm. For Tualang Honey, the process goes a bit differently -- the first issue is that Tualang Honey is harvested wild, which means the honey hunter has to actually go find the hive in the middle of the Malaysian jungle. The second issue stems from the fact that the hives are way up in the Tualang trees.
Once a hive is located, the next challenge is reaching it as they can be up to 150 feet in the air and dangling from branches. Since scaffolding and cranes are not really prevalent in the jungles of Malaysia, the task is left to intrepid climbers who use climbing nails and sheer willpower to reach the hive. On the ground, dried coconut husks are often burned as a means of trying to provide some form of bee-calming smoke although unlike with a smoker box there is no effective means of directing the
Did we forget to mention that the rock bee, which produces Tualang Honey is one of the less friendly of the world's bee species? Because they are. Rock bees are known to be extremely territorial and aggressive, compared to most honey bees which are fairly chill and unconcerned with sustainable harvesting practices. Evidently, the rock bee is known to employ a bench clearing strategy wherein when a potential threat is identified, the entire colony goes to the defense even if they are not directly threatened, as though someone just threw an inside pitch right at one of the bees.