In an attempt to ensure that the honey collected from the Sunderbans does not involve tiger attacks, Directorate of Forest 24 Parganas (South), along with WWF India, has come up with a novel mechanism of community apiculture for collecting the forest produce.
From time immemorial, people from the villages of Sunderbans have been venturing into the dense mangrove forest inhabited by the royal Bengal tiger to collect honey.
Maulis (honey collectors), as they are called in Bengali, often risk their lives in the peak season to collect honey. Going by the official estimates, at least five to six of these honey hunters (official figures) are killed by tigers every year.
Human tiger conflict is a major issue in the Sunderbans. In the State of Art Report on the Biodiversity of Sunderbans, released by WWF India in 2017, between 1985 to 2009, tigers attacked 789 persons, of which 666 succumbed to their injuries. Nearly 14% of the victims were honey hunters.
Source : The Hindu