Monthly Archives: April 2011

Insight into Turkey’s Largest Honey Producer – Istanbul, Turkey

Walking up the road, I felt that I had left Istanbul. A herd of sheep munched on grass plots and the Çekmeköy pine forest breathed fresh air on the urban sprawl behind me. Ahead, a large yellow building painted in bees, flowers, and hexagons emerged from a ring of trees. The building is the manufacturing facility of Balparmak (literally, honey fingers) the largest honey producer in Turkey. I was here to meet with the product manager to get a better idea about large-scale honey production in Turkey. Because Balparmak produces white label honey, their product guarantees a particular taste and uniform quality. They buy their honey from large government licensed bee-keepers from across Turkey, and blend all of the honey together.In total, they buy from 3,000 beekeepers. However only one of these honey producers is a woman. In contrast, a large majority of the employees at the manufacturing facility are women because, I was told, women have smaller hands and better eyesight.

Tomb Raiding for Bees – Luxor, Egypt


“I don’t know what you are talking about,” shrugged our guide. We had hired a day guide for the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Nobles, a series of ancient tombs constructed and sealed between 16th and 11th century BCE when Southern Egypt was ruled by Pharaohs. Today, Egypt is between governments, the tombs are empty of their former contents, and they unpredictably open and close based on the nap schedules of the tomb key holders. (more…)

Hunting for “Honey Island” in Cairo, Egypt


It was one of the last places on earth you would expect to find a bee. The sky was a thick haze – air particles weighed heavy with sweat, dust, and petrol. Garbage piles filled empty lots like crunchy apartment complexes of plastic bottles, paper bags, and orange peels. Goats and cats grazed, contentedly. Adjacent, tight alleyways packed with people shifted shapes as kids raced after each other, a clump of clothes, yelling, and laughter. Read the rest of this entry


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