The Honey Games: Part 1

Armed with shields of Honey Comb, let the Honey Games begin! (and may the honey be forever in your flavor).

It’s five degrees on April 4th in Kars, and I am about to officially enter the “Honey Games,” a term I use for the honey wars being currently waged in Turkey. Thus far, I have been a small player, dragged into honey laundering schemes on the Georgian border in a smokey dark late night bar (where I tactfully found a way to say no, and get out). I’ve been asked to give my seal of approval on honey that I know is not only fake, but probably infused with counterfeit drugs and supplies smuggled in from Iran. Once again, I found a way to quietly remove myself, maintaining my reputation without harming someone’s pride.

But lately I have been drawn into something from which I can not easily back away, and it puts the name and image of my new company into question – a serious handicap considering we have yet to really get started. It is a fake ad campaign mocking the fake honey commercials that have boomed across Turkey in the last year, and it is featuring Turkey’s equivalent of John Stewart. His name is Beyaz. I am working on an article now, the true Honey Games, that explains about the recent explosion of fake Turkish honey, and what it means for my new company, for the Turkish honey sector, and the greater global industry. But for now, let’s focus on the issue at hand. Starting this March, Beyaz made two fake honey commercials using this name: Bal Yolu ( You can see some of his “commercials” below.

They’re great because they’re getting everyone talking about corrupt honey practices in Turkey. They suck because they are using the Balyolu name that we have patented, and have been running our Kickstarter campaign, company, and marketing under now for a year.

“Beyaaaz!” she screams atop the Kars Castle, her fist high in the air as her cries echoes through the neighboring valleys.

We cannot stand aside and do nothing. I have written several appeals to Beyaz personally, with no response. So I have had to tap into the deep caverns of my college experience to decide what to do. When I was in undergrad, I went to an all-women’s college, full of scintillating gossip, intellectual inquiry, and cyber drama. When our very own stress induced internet wars began, my improv comedy troop Dead Serious would ease the tension through comedy sketches, and funny replies.

So, taking a page from Dead Serious (Go blue!), we as a company have made a comedic reply to Beyaz, mocking HIS show, and calling it The Beyaaz show. Ultimately, our goal is this: we want to get on his show to talk about our company, corrupt honey, and the art of consecutively repeating “saka saka.”

We need your help. Spread our video to everyone you know. And through your likes, and Tweets, and views make Beyaz listen. Help us to get Beyaz to find another name for his fake honey company. Balyolu is already taken.

The Beyaaz Show: Balyolu’s Response to Beyaz


Bal Yolu: The Beyaaz Show’s fake honey commercials

About Cat

Catherine de Medici Jaffee is a National Geographic Young Explorer, a Fulbright Scholar, a Luce Fellow, the Founder of Balyolu: the Honey Road, and a lunatic about honey culture in the Caucasus. Raised on a farm in the Colorado Rockies, Cat grew up loving animals, dirt, and altitude. Her dedication and passion for animals, agriculture, and women leaders has launched her across the world as a Luce and Fulbright scholar: to raise Aigamo ducks in Japan, to research yak trade caravans in Sikkim, and to study rural women’s migration in Turkey. In particular, Turkey - with its fish hung like laundry from windows, its 9,000 species of flowers, and its delicious honey - continues to lure Cat back to its borders. Cat’s love for Turkey, the mountains, agriculture, and women’s leadership blend together sweetly in her new venture Balyolu and her blog Inspired Beeing. You can most frequently find her jumping on a mountain, running from angry bees, cooking in villages, hitching on dirt roads, or joking with Turkcell about her internet woes. Cat is joined by her partner in crime Claire Bangser, artist, photographer, writer, and globe wanderer who believes in creative storytelling as a way to powerfully connect people across mental and physical borders. From working with small-scale women farmers in Mali, to documenting peoples' lives along a 2,000 mile bike tour in the US, she finds that every person (and bee) has an important story to tell and much wisdom to share (speaking of Wisdom, Claire just published her first book, Ride Somewhere Far. Check it out on our Link Roll). These days, you're most likely to find Claire upside down, yodeling from a mountaintop, making tragic mistakes in Turkish, or eating meat for Cat.

Posted on April 4, 2012, in Business, Culture, Food, Inspired!, Pop Culture and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. that’s amazing funny. I don’t understand it, but passed it to WellesleyUnderground. I hope you get on the show. maybe you should send it to John Stewart too–the beyaz of US

  2. Cat, great for you standing up for your company and to try to stamp out this corruption. I lived in Turkey for seven years and have still not quite recovered from it and the way that people’s ideas and skills were treated and quite often ripped off. Go for it. I will be following the progress and cheering you on.

  1. Pingback: Bal Yolu

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