James Borrell is a biodiversity scientist and science communicator researching how people and nature can adapt to environmental change.

The Honey Hunter (and other incredible field assistants)

Traipsing through the forest one day Jean-Renee cocked his head to the side, listening.

‘Tantelly’ he whispered. ‘Tantelly’ I repeated back in parrot fashion, nodding, but without the faintest idea what this new Malagasy word meant.

‘Tantelly’ he repeated, pointing optimistically into the forest.

Fearing we may reach a linguistic impasse, I smiled, gave a big British thumbs up, and signaled that I would follow him. Best decision I ever made.

Tantelly, as it turns out, means honey. Jean-Renee, a strapping chap who we had hired as a guide for Expedition Angano, as it turns out, was the best honey hunter in the village.

He was insatiable, too, hacking into tree stumps, shimmying up trees and digging into the earth. There is nothing on this earth that can compare with fresh honey comb, and every few days Jean-Renee would disappear and emerge triumphant with this liquid gold.

Duncan Parker has done an incredible job in putting together this short video, which also touches on issues of sustainability, livelihoods and the dying arts involved.

The Honey Hunter from Falcon Productions on Vimeo. If you enjoyed this, you might also like the Life on the Edge film trailer.