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Sugarbag is a wild honey of Australia. Small native bees of the order Trigona produce Sugarbag. Trigona bees are stingless and smaller than house flies. About six species of bees produce worthwhile amounts of honey. It is very different in consistency and taste, some are very sweet, while others taste sour. The nests of native bees are mostly in hollow trees and branches and are very hard to find. Aborigines follow the trees to their host trees and listen to the deep hum the bees make, when the tree is knocked, to find the exact location of the nest. Smaller trees are usually cut down to get to the honey. A hole is drilled in bigger trees to harvest the honey. Great knowledge and skill is needed to make the hole at the right place.

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Cultural importance of Sugarbag

Sugarbag honey is one of the most popular foods of Australian Aborigine. It is a great source of quick energy and calories and tastes delicious. Traditionally it was eaten directly from the hive. It is not cooked or mixed with other foods. Honey is of great spiritual and mythological meaning. There are strict rules about collecting and eating it, which are laid down in Dreaming stories. Honey is always shared for example. In some regions the collector of honey could only eat, what the rest of the family gave her. In the Kimberley region in northwest Australia honey was abundant and for a long time could be counted as a staple food.

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