Building the Balyolu: What the World’s First Honey Road Looks Like…


We are building balyolu, the world’s very first honey road, right here in rural northeastern Turkey… have you been wondering what an average day looks like? Check it out!

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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 20, 2012, in Bees Keep People and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Keep buzy. Looks hivateous.

  2. Karen & Chuck Reiter

    Cat, ve balyolu da Turkler, Chuck ve Ben simde butun “Bee Inspiring” seyret ettik. O kadar heyacanliktir uyudugumuz zammanda hep ne kadar guzel ruyalar Kars i hakinda goruyoruz!
    Now you know how ayip I am about my 40 year old Turkish! We are so looking forward to meeting you! It will be a great honor.

  3. This video brings back such fond memories of this part of Turkey.

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