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From the East! to the West! Why bees die as pests?


Another reason why I feel like a cheater? Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers. Their beautiful patterns, their stunning colors, their sense of community. Just have to remember, don't blame the flower, blame it on the a-aaa-aalgecides.

In Kars, I try to travel like a bee. Staying close to my home base, but leaving to feast on the diverse scents, exotic colors, and daily changes of my surroundings. I glide over the familiar rolling steppes that have become my home, noticing when budding flowers open after the rain and when old ones are withered. I feel the new season that is every couple hundred meters on these ancient steppes, and the untamed wild of 2,000 flowers calms my heart to a happy buzz…

That’s why I feel like a cheater when I jump in a plane, and the next thing I know I am standing at the farthest western corner of Turkey. My warm fleeces, my cozy socks, my heavy sleeping bag are snug in Kars and I am a world away on a whole other set of borders in Trakya. Hugging Bulgaria and Greece, the new landscape is hot, sunny, European, and crowded. (more…)

From bee to shinning bee


Everyone agrees: this has been the worst honey seasons across Turkey in 10 years. Where hives should be yielding 20-60 kilos of honey, many are yielding a mere five. This is not from major bee losses, diseases, or an increase in cell phone waves. These production struggles are from climate change. Too much rain, or not enough, have cut seasons short, dried up flowers, and dampened productivity.

As a result of the prevailing honey woes and the increasingly volatile seasons, I have taken to the hills (and two ends of Turkey’s seas) to do my research. Before I enter business with 10,000 + hypersensitive Caucasian women (i.e. kafkas bees), I want to learn everything there is to learn. And oh yea, and I have decided I want to write a book.

Writing a book somehow makes sense. I could raise the profile of Turkish honey, as well as increase awareness about the environmental issues, culture, history, diversity, politics, and stories of the local people – all through the lens of honey and bees. Shedding light on this incredible region will also help the Balyolu venture and the bees-honey-women-development cause. For at the heart of great marketing lies an incredible story. And I can tell you this, that story is here.

So as my journey unfolds, I am swept away from Kars temporarily to Ayder (Rize), Yusufeli (Artvin), Tekirdag/Gokceada (Trakya) and the famous Macahel (Artvin).

Here is the sneak peek of what is to come:

Ayder: beekeepers take to the trees ... or their rooftops to harvest famous Ayder honey.

Yusufeli: From the hights of the Kackar Mountains to the depths of the Coruh Valley, ancient Georgian bridges and churches blend into the stunning geography. Bees really know how to pick the most beautiful places to live.

Tekirdag: Though radiant in the mid-summer sun, Tekirdag sunflowers spell danger to bee populations.

Gokceada: at the western most point of Turkey, hives face the surrounding Greek islands and Gokceada's raw past.

Macahel: leaving the mighty forests behind them, bees return to the safety of their karakovan home.

Stay tuned.

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