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Dust clouds hamper beekeeping

MALATYA - Anatolia News Agency | 8/20/2009 12:00:00 AM |

Beekeepers in Malatya are faced with an unproductive season as the honey yield per hive falls to one kilogram, a dramatic drop compared to the normal yield of 20 kilograms.

Beekeepers in Malatya are faced with an unproductive season as the honey yield per hive falls to one kilogram, a dramatic drop compared to the normal yield of 20 kilograms.

The decline is being attributed to a sudden halt of rainfall and dust clouds carried toward the east Anatolian province due to desert winds from Syria.

Malatya is a good location for beekeeping because of the mountains that encircle the city, says Ali Çolak, chairman of the Malatya Beekeepers Union, which has 700 members with a total of 70,000 hives.

“But we are having a difficult season,” Çolak said. “We used to get 20 kilograms of honey per hive. This year we could only get one kilogram. We are suffering from the dust clouds coming from Syria.”

Beekeepers in the region generally harvest honey in July.

Officials said the dust stuck to leaves, keeping plants that bees need to collect nectar from breathing and flourishing.

Beekeeping in the area is advancing with the use of modern techniques and the union has started providing queen bees for its members each year, Çolak said, noting that honey produced in Malatya is generally marketed in Gaziantep and Kayseri.

The union chairman said the Agricultural Insurances Pool, or TARSİM, should cover beekeeping, too. Many producers have received credits from Ziraat Bank and are requesting a one-year postponement on their installment payments.

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