The Pine Honey Congress in Mugla, Turkey concluded yesterday with the usual closing ceremonies and trappings. I was have been unable to recount much of the second and third days until now as the activities have been substantial and Internet access reduced. Besides the discussion on bee losses, which are occurring across the beekeeping world, papers at the Congress were varied and the last day was principally turned over the specific issues surrounding pine honey production.
Honeydew from the Marchalina hellenica is quite interesting and there are a few types
found in this region. Beyond the Mugla pine honey, some others are found in Greece and other areas as well. There is a special management required for this substance because bees don't build up on in (it has no pollen), it is produced in autumn, wearing bees out, and precluding production of winter bees so they must winter in a substandard environment. The bees are almost forced to collect it although it is found in abundance; it is not their favorite food. Comb space also must be managed; too much space and the honeydew is not stored conveniently for extraction. More about this later.
There are also quality issues. Because it commands a high price the urge to adulterate this product is great and it is difficult to characterize it. It contains no pollen so the usual way to look at origin via pollen analysis doesn't work. More about this later.
Today is another excursion on the water out of Marmaris. The weather has finally cleared and it is a great day to further explore this region. Fortunately, it is off season and the summer mobs are not in evidence.