Honey is at the base of many traditional remedies and herbal formulas in many ancient cultures. The Arabs consider honey therapeutic and the Arabic name for bee is nahlat, which means a gift of Allah. No doubt honey is an integral part of Arabic cuisine and remedies. Honey was and still is a treasured nutriment in Arab region.
Oman, bee-keeping has been practised since ancient times. Oman has a varied landscape that provides the honey bee with the nutrients it requires. Omani bee-keepers have developed great skills in obtaining honey and propagating bee colonies in a sustainable manner.
Bee-keeping is one of the main occupations in Rustaq Governorate of Oman. People make beehives out of date palm trunk usually three to four feet in length and hollowed out and honeycomb and queen are placed inside. Ingenious way of harvesting the honey and combs are done from the rear of the date log hive to minimise disturbance to the bees. Omani honey is considered best in the Arabian region.
Bu Twaiq is a kind of special Omani wild bees that make top quality honey. This honey is famous and well-known to Omanis and other GCC citizens as the best quality; however, the pure one is only found in Oman. Bu Twaiq bees are usually found in specific trees locally called of “Somr”, “Sedr” and “ Sarah” .
he Sultanate is considered a perfect environment to keep bees as its geography is a great helper in forming suitable places for bees to set hives and produce honey. Environmental diversity of Oman has been enhancing honey production with all its God-given features.
Bees in Oman get their food from different sources. Wadis (valleys), hills, coastlines and deserts have their own kinds of trees, each according to its nature.
Omani honey is characterised by its density which contains good percentage of vitamins and protein. Particularly, Bu Twaiq is used in traditional medications to cure many diseases, either on its own or mixed with other natural herbs. Each medium size bottle of Bu Twaiq honey may cost RO 50.
As far as bee-keeping is concerned, the government in Oman provides many facilities to the farmers. It provides financial support to all bee-keepers and organise lectures, studies, books and other helping programmes for the benefit of the bee-keepers.
oney has many health benefits. First of all, it prevents cancer and heart disease as it contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. It also reduce ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Recent research shows that honey treatment may help disorders such as ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis. It increases athletic performance.
Ancient Olympic athletes would eat honey and dried figs to enhance their performance. This has now been verified with modern studies, showing that it is superior in maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time than other sweeteners. It reduce cough and throat irritation.
Honey helps with coughs, particularly buckwheat honey. In a study of 110 children, a single dose of buckwheat honey was just as effective as a single dose of dextromethorphan in relieving nocturnal cough and allowing proper sleep.