Tuesday, November 25, 2008

First Day of the Pine Honey Congress, Mugla

Off early this morning from Marmaris to Mugla University in Mugla town.
high on a hill with a spectacular view across the valley. The facilities are quite modern and the opening ceremony interested with the proverbial image of Ataturk framed by the Turkish flag. The nationalism seemed palpable as the national anthem pounded out of the speakers.

It is now clear that one mission of the Pine Honey Congress is to get ready for Turkey's bid to host Apimondia in 2013. Today featured the usual statistics on honey production for Turkey, considered the world's 5th largest producer of the sweet and certainly the first producer of honey dew. The Mugla area sports a huge number of hives and beekeepers.

Another thing expressed is the huge biodiversity that Turkey has with some 5 to 6 honey bee ecotypes, depending on region. The Thrace bee, the Syrian bee, both Caucasian and Carniolan are here; there's even a Mugla bee, adapted to the honeydew region. There was a good paper on the DNA study here in an attempt to further categorize these races. The big danger is that Turkey will be a victim of its own beekeeping successes and that these unique races will be overrrun by importations of other bees from abroad as usually happens.

Today it's off again to Mugla.

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