Monday, January 09, 2012
By Gillian Duncan, The National, Jan 6, 2012
The uprising in Yemen not only disrupted gas exports and pushed the country's crumbling economy closer to the brink - it also affected sales of another prized commodity.
Honey produced in the caves of Yemen's mountainous hinterlands is exported all over the world.
"Many people like that kind of honey. It has a delicious taste. One kilogram costs around Dh3,500 [US$952]," said Abdul Aziz Bamadhaf, the general manager of Bees Kingdom in Abu Dhabi. For about the same price per kilo you could buy several varieties of truffle or some Caspian black caviar…
Honey has been a staple of the Middle East diet, and used for medicinal purposes, for centuries.
Mr Bamadhaf's business produces a powder from bee venom, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
"You can only use one gram per 50kg of honey and you have to mix it properly because one gram of bee venom is around 250 bites. It can kill someone. They can make 30,000 injections from just one gram," he says.