In the season of ants’ eggs, people in the highlands of Thanh Hoa take advantage of leaving the fields to go to the forest to hunt for ant eggs. Thanks to the delicious and nutritious “forest fortune”, they earn an income of 500,000 to millions of dong every day.
From March to April of the lunar calendar every year, people in mountainous districts of Thanh Hoa such as Cam Thuy, Ba Thuoc, Ngoc Lac, Quan Hoa, etc., go to the forest to hunt for ant eggs.
Ha Van Khoi (33 years old , residing in Ai Thuong commune, Ba Thuoc district) said that from a young age, he followed his parents into the forest to collect ant eggs .
“Every year there is a season of ant eggs. To know when there are ant eggs, we often look at the season of oval flowers. When the flowers bloom, it is the beginning of the ant egg season. However, there are times when the oval flowers come out late, the egg season. The ant will last until the beginning of the fifth lunar month, “said Khoi.
Mr. Khai said that ants often make their nests in tree branches such as cycads, longan, litchi and bamboo trees in the forest edge. Hunting ant eggs is simple, but it must be skillful to not be bitten by ants and crawl into people. To hunt for ant eggs, workers only need to use a knife, then climb up the tree branches, cut down the branches with ant nests.
“The type of eggs harvested is the eggs of weaver ants, the kind that bite is very painful. When taking ant eggs, you have to do it quickly, cut off the whole branch to let the ant nest fall to the ground. If not fast, the ants will break the nest and fill up with people. Hunter Ants must be clever to avoid being bitten by ants,” the forest worker shared.
According to Mr. Khai, after destroying the ant nest, the hunters will put the nest on the tray, then cut the nest into many small pieces with a knife, then use the tree branch to chase the ants out of the tray.
According to experience, ant egg hunters must hunt on a sunny day. When the ant nest is lowered into the sun, the ants will quickly spread out, leaving only white ant eggs like rice grains. On rainy days, the ants will stay in the nest, making it difficult to harvest.
Also according to Mr. Khai, in the process of harvesting ant eggs, the hunter uses a tray, then sieves to remove dead branches and dead leaves. Each large ant nest can collect 1kg of ant eggs, small nests can only collect a few ounces.
Currently, the selling price of ant eggs ranges from 200,000-250,000 VND/kg. In the main season, if lucky, a person can catch 2-4kg per day. Ant eggs are fragrant, fleshy and nutritious. Normally, people after harvesting will keep a little to eat, the rest to sell to restaurants, processed into diverse dishes such as roasted lemongrass, porridge, rolled leaves, fried, made cakes, dishes sticky rice. Taking advantage of the ant egg season, the people in the high mountains of Thanh Hoa can earn millions of dong a day.($1=24,000 VND)
Photo: Internet (Vinlove.net)