Blog Archives

Mountain Bound: Starting a Honey Hunt in the South Caucasus


Kars is confused. Light rain and warm sun coax late flowers into bloom and beekeepers sigh in frustration. Imagine that you went to the beach for a week-long vacation, and it only rained. You saw the sun just once – in the rear-view mirror as you drove home. This, in short, describes the honey season. However, while the honey extractors spin dry, my story of honey hunting in the South Caucasus is already more than a full harvest, and it has only just begun. Read the rest of this entry

Want to know the meaning of life? Ask a village beekeeper.


Even when flying solo, bees always have the hive mind.

I couldn’t believe it. I had found quite possibly the very last living melified man and he was 115 years-old. This man was on his deathbed, claiming to have kept himself alive over the past few years by eating only his own honey. He was the oldest beekeeper in Turkey, and I would dare say, quite possibly the oldest living beekeeper in the world. He had kept bees during the time of Ataturk, during world wars, during Turkey’s rise and fall as a global power, and during hundreds of Karsian honey seasons. Read the rest of this entry

The Road to Kars: How I Made it Back


Last May, when I quit my job to move to Kars, Turkey to live with nomadic beekeepers, there were three thoughts running through my mind:

1. I have no idea what I am doing.

2. I know no one.

Read the rest of this entry

Life on the Edge: Bee Boxes, Satan’s Castle, & Cildir


The hive on the ledge.

Vzzzz. The noise passed beneath my sleeve, crawling deeper and deeper into my shirt. Vzzz. Oh no, I thought to myself. Oh. No. My jaw dropped as my face transformed silently into an expression of horror. There it was, a buzzing inside of my bra. I didn’t fear bee stings – even in places where a bee should never access. No, what I actually feared that very moment was the audience watching my every move: the mayor of Cildir, the first place honey winner of Ardahan, and my friend visiting from out of town; three men in a properly conservative corner of Ardahan. Yep. There was no way I could gracefully deal with this situation. (more…)

Where the Trees All Have Names: Treekeeping in Macahel


I try on my tree for size...looks like it could be a good fit!

“KIZ!” I hear Hasan call (meaning GIRL! in Turkish). “Would you like to buy this tree?” he asks me, patting a hefty chestnut. Its rooted deep in the ground with felt-like moss growing across its trunk. I think we are doing our usual family style joking, so I give Hasan my prepared reply, “sure, let me call Barak Obama and ask him to send me a check.” (more…)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,380 other followers

%d bloggers like this: