Bee deaths worrying Turkish honey producers
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News | 10/24/2010 12:00:00 AM |
An organic honey producer in the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey has seen a 50-percent fall in the 2010 honey harvest even after increasing hive numbers by 40 percent last year.
An organic honey producer in the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey has seen a 50-percent fall in the 2010 honey harvest even after increasing hive numbers by 40 percent over last year.
“The bees look like they are almost on strike. They have so drastically slashed the production that we could only deliver half the amount we promised to customers a year ago. We had to suspend our export negations with five countries,” said Remzi Özbay, general manager of Topuy Kaçkar.
Özbay said there was a high demand for his honey from many corners of the world, such as the United States, Japan, Germany and Australia.
The firm is able to harvest an average of 6 tons of honey from 1,000 hives annually, Özbay said, adding that they increased the number of the hives to 1,400 in order to catch up with the rising demand.
“However, despite the increase in the number of hives our production fell to 3 tons. We did a study and found out this was the case with all honey producers,” he said.
The natural balance has been ruined due to pesticides that have directly affected the bees’ ecosystem, he said. “Bee deaths are increasing. Honey producers are now seriously debating Albert Einstein’s thesis that after the disappearance of bees from the face of the earth, human beings will have only four years to last.”
[HH] ‘Organic’ excludes serial production
Noting that organic honey production had to be natural in all its phases, Özbay said, “Our honey is the product of 80 million bees.”
They were planning to bring other producers on board to their business so as to attain a figure of 10 tons per year.
He also said that a Japanese firm had been paying visits over the last four years looking for an import partnership. “They told us that if we could guarantee 20 tons of annual honey production, they would be willing to purchase the entire harvest. But I do not believe that serial production is the right method when you are doing organic cultivation. That is why we had to refuse.”
He also said the Japanese group was offering $1,500 per kilogram for the honey.