Monday, November 24, 2008

Excursion from Marmaris

Some thirty people travel on a short bus (short for a reason) out of Marmaris
into the surrounding hill toward the town of Bozburun via a place called Turunรง
and stopped at a local beekeeper who runs 350 colonies, moving them the citrus, almond and finally winding up in the fall of the year near Marmaris to make pine honeydew , which only is thought to be made in Greece and Turkey . This unique product is sought after by some estimates 7000 beekeepers in the region. Most run one brood chamber, but some few use supers. This is a challenging product to make as it comes at the end of the beekeeping year; thus, the beekeeper must not only ensure a crop of pine honeydew, but must also ensure that the bees are in good enough shape to winter. Worse the honeydew is not an ideal nutritional resource for bees; the suffer for collecting it.

Honeydew or pine honey is found in other areas of the world. It uniformly is collected by honey bees, but the plants and insect complex from which the product is made can by quite different as show in New Zealand for example, which is a beech tree.

The trip today includes a typical lunch in a small village of Arabian flat bread (pita) prepared locally, consumed with a liquid yogurt called Ayran and of course some pine honeydew on the side.

Next we visit a hand-made carpet outlet, of which there appear to be many in the region. This is an intricate process and provides unique piled carpetting wool on wool, wool on cotton, silk on silk (the most expensive). You can tell a true hand made carpet at the threads on the outside run through the carpet and are not attached at the last minute and the flexibility is such that it can be easily folded in many ways.

Tomorrow The Pine Honey Congress begins and will seek to educate beekeepers on the latest bee management issues. There is concern here as there is around the world due to what many consider "unacceptable" losses. This congress is sponsored to an extent by Apimondia and there is an international coterie of individuals here from Europe and America.

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