Sidr honey is becoming more and more popular in Qatar as apiaries are using their Sidr trees to produce this gold elixir known to have many health benefits.
This honey is produced from the Sidr tree that has religious and mythological links as it is mentioned in the Holy Quran as one of the plants of paradise. It is also known as the lotus tree in Greek Mythology.
Yemen has been popular in it's Sidr honey production and is known for it's honey, making it the most expensive honey in the world. Qatar has seen an increase in those mastering in bee keeping. As a result, there has been a substantial growth in Sidr honey production even in the hot climate. The flower from the tree is mono-floral which means the bees feed exclusively from the nectar of one plant and is harvested in October-November during the winter month which makes it so rich and special. The native honey has a very unique flavor with a pronounced and prolonged taste, the farmed Sidr honey is a milder version of the latter.
Fruit from the native Sidr tree
In many countries Sidr honey is not only used as food but for medicine as well and is often compared to Manuka honey in regards to it's healing properties. It is used to treat liver diseases, stomach ulcers, lung infections, constipation, infections following burns, wounds and surgery as well as general health and vitality.
I had the privilege to visit Al Reem farm who produces Sidr honey under the banner of Qatar Bee, they have been making honey for over 20 years but officially selling it full time for the past five years. The owner Ali, along with his wife Maria, make both native and farm Sidr honey with dedication and passion which would explain it's high level of quality and purity. Last year they produced 120kg of native Sidr honey and 150kg of farm honey.
Each August/September when the flower from the tree starts to bloom the couple put approximately thirty colonies (boxes/hives) in the back of their truck and drive out into desert rocky terrain for around 15-20 minutes where they know to find clusters of native trees and place the hives under them and repeat the process several times, last year they migrated a total of eighty colonies. Regular check ups are required to ensure that there are no mites or bee-eater birds roaming around. They also visit the crops to feed the bees with the first harvest of their own honey as opposed to water and sugar.
Fruit from the farm Sidr tree, you can find this fruit in the seasonal markets, they resemble mini apples without the acidity.
Qatar Bee also sells honey based cream, lip balm, candles, soaps.
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