A new year resolution of mine, which I am sure many would share, is to be more health conscious. I have been going to the gym regularly for the past year, but still find myself often getting sick. I started considering doing something more. Perhaps it is time to start changing up my diet. I doubt I was going to last long with fad diets where the failure rate is high. What about adding health supplements? The market is inundated with new ones every now and then, each promising more benefits with confusing jargon thrown in. I wanted something simple, natural, and most importantly, affordable. Fortunately, I stumbled onto a new local, organic brand – Nectarivore. As the name hints, it is all about honey, in particular – stingless bee honey.
Nectarivore At Dissolved Solids
On the fringe of the national capital of Kuala Lumpur is Damansara Kim. And nestled on the first floor along a street in Damansara Kim, popular with eateries, is a new coffee bar unlike any other. Once I found the slightly hidden entrance next to a gelato shop, I went up into Dissolved Solids, a quiet, cosy space where I met the founders of Nectarivore. I managed to talk to two out of three of the founders – Lim Kay Shaun and Chan Yong Siang.
Both Shaun and Chan have accumulated years of experience within the agriculture industry, especially within the rural areas of Malaysia. Together with the third founder, Jack Lai, they saw vast opportunities in what Malaysia’s biologically diverse rainforests can offer. Eventually, they decided to put their focus on locally-sourced stingless bee honey. They were more than happy to walk me through the process behind their newest brainchild.
The Buzz About Nectarivore
In short, Nectarivore is all locally-farmed, premium quality, single origin, raw stingless bee honey. The honey is produced by the stingless bees. These stingless bees, Trigona itama, feed on flowers from select locations in the tropical jungles of Sibu, Sarawak. These bees, in turn, produces this unique Nectarivore honey. Trigona itama makes up the bulk of the stingless bee species, and are much smaller than the common honeybees. The small size of stingless bees enables them to feed deeply among different flowers.
Some locals may recognise this type of honey as ‘kelulut’, but not many know that local honey quality is able to rival much more expensive honey brands out there. Some of its health properties can even trump world renown Manuka honey. Nectarivore does not undergo any additional processing, which keeps the product nutrient-rich and pure. Locally sourced and bottled also helps to bring the price down to a competitive level too.
What Makes Stingless Bee Honey A Superfood
For thousands of years now, people have known honey for its medicinal properties. This is especially apparent when used in its raw, natural form. Hailed as a natural superfood, honey in its raw form is packed with nutrients, such as minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. Our ancestors have used it not just for consumption, but also to treat wounds and heal sore throats. According to recent research, it can even regulate metabolism and help reduce obesity due to its low sugar levels indicated by its glycemic index.
Honey from stingless bees, come with a much higher amount of antioxidants, thanks to the propolis present in their beehives. Compared to normal beehives, stingless bees construct their hives with plant resins called propolis, which results in presence of propolis in the honey extracted. To note, propolis has high levels of antifungal and antimicrobial properties. These properties typically help boost the immune system.
Nectarivore Supports Sustainability
The best part of it all? I love how Nectarivore is a sustainable business that is great for the environment. Stingless bees are major pollinators for various plants, especially fruit trees and vegetables. All this contributes to farmer friendly practices and increases forest resilience which serves as a protective factor to climate change effects. By rearing bees in their farms, farmers can yield crops organically without resorting to use of pesticides. In this natural habitat, bees can live and function in a stress-free environment. This will enable them to produce high-quality honey. Thus, when buying Nectarivore, I am actually supporting the indigenous groups in Sibu. Supporting these beekeepers also means that I am proudly contributing to grow the local economy too. It was personally a huge bonus on top of being provided one of the freshest and purest honey options around.
Nectarivore Honey Is Not Your Average Tasting Honey
My taste buds were also in for a surprise when I tried Nectarivore honey right then and there. The taste profile of Nectarivore honey were not what I’d always imagined honey to have. In fact, it was a sour kind of sweetness, not cloying at all. The dark coloured honey that I had just drank had a runny texture and was very easy to consume. Shaun and Chan explained that the acidity of the honey came from the mixture of propolis, and the source of feeding.
It is unrealistic to rely on a single farm to produce enough honey. Several individual farms contribute to a single collection point of this honey. These farms are usually deep in the tropical forests. They will then feed on the nectar of multiple types of trees or flowers, earning them the description ‘polyfloral’ on the honey they produce. As of now, Nectarivore’s bees feed on durian and coconut flowers mostly.
Putting Malaysia On The Map
At the moment, you can only purchase Nectarivore from Dissolved Solids. The exclusivity helps them ensure maintenance of quality. Shaun and Chan kindly advised me to drink it in its pure form before a meal to reap its full nutritious benefits. For those who are curious, they can also try a list of interesting drinks that use Nectarivore honey within the café. The texture and taste of stingless bee honey makes it a good ingredient for mixing among many cocktails and mocktails.
In the long run, the founders of Nectarivore want to actualise huge dreams, but first and foremost is to put this homegrown honey on the international scene. I am excited to see their future efforts in raising the awareness on the capabilities of our Malaysian forests in producing this underrated superfood. Shaun and Chan also shared their hopes in more future experimentation with stingless bee honey. I can’t wait for the day they announce when they have successfully made their own mead!
Get A Taste Of Nectarivore Stingless Bee Honey Today At:
43-1, Jalan SS 20/11,
Damansara Kim, 47400
Petaling Jaya, Selangor,