Climate Change Puts Pressure on Turkey's Bee Population

MURGUL, TURKEY - AUGUST 18: Beekeeper Naci Hatiloglu does routine maintenance to one of his traditional karakovan hives on August 18, 2023 in Murgul, Turkey. In 2021, the Mugla region of Turkey, which produces almost all of the world's pine honey was ravaged by wildfires. The fires destroyed more than 14,000 acres of pine forest. Pine honey, popular both in Turkey and abroad, saw a significant decline in production in the Mugla region after the 2020 fires. Before the fires, this region yielded over 30,000 tons of pine honey. However, in 2023, it is expected to produce only 5,000 to 7,000 tons. Unlike honey derived from flower nectar, pine honey relies on honeybees to gather secretions from the marchalina insect, which lives on pine trees. These secretions contain pine sap, which is then transformed into honey. Sadly, the fires wiped out over 80% of the marchalina population, triggering a catastrophic ripple effect. Two years on, the landscape around Mugla still stands devoid of vegetation, and local beekeepers say it will take thirty years to regenerate. The Mugla region was home to more than 5,000 beekeepers before the fires. The loss of the pine trees and the Marchalina has been an economic disaster for the local industry. In 2024, the region expects to lose over 1,000 beekeepers. Increases in wildfires, heatwaves, drought, fluctuating rainfall patterns, and rising humidity, across the country have taken a massive toll on bee populations and has pushed the industry into crisis. Honey production across the country for 2023 is expected to be down 40% to 50% on previous years due to climate conditions. Turkey is home to eight bee species crucial for pollinating plants, making them essential for our ecosystems. Without bees, the ecosystem faces tremendous pressure. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
MURGUL, TURKEY - AUGUST 18: Beekeeper Naci Hatiloglu does routine maintenance to one of his traditional karakovan hives on August 18, 2023 in Murgul, Turkey. In 2021, the Mugla region of Turkey, which produces almost all of the world's pine honey was ravaged by wildfires. The fires destroyed more than 14,000 acres of pine forest. Pine honey, popular both in Turkey and abroad, saw a significant decline in production in the Mugla region after the 2020 fires. Before the fires, this region yielded over 30,000 tons of pine honey. However, in 2023, it is expected to produce only 5,000 to 7,000 tons. Unlike honey derived from flower nectar, pine honey relies on honeybees to gather secretions from the marchalina insect, which lives on pine trees. These secretions contain pine sap, which is then transformed into honey. Sadly, the fires wiped out over 80% of the marchalina population, triggering a catastrophic ripple effect. Two years on, the landscape around Mugla still stands devoid of vegetation, and local beekeepers say it will take thirty years to regenerate. The Mugla region was home to more than 5,000 beekeepers before the fires. The loss of the pine trees and the Marchalina has been an economic disaster for the local industry. In 2024, the region expects to lose over 1,000 beekeepers. Increases in wildfires, heatwaves, drought, fluctuating rainfall patterns, and rising humidity, across the country have taken a massive toll on bee populations and has pushed the industry into crisis. Honey production across the country for 2023 is expected to be down 40% to 50% on previous years due to climate conditions. Turkey is home to eight bee species crucial for pollinating plants, making them essential for our ecosystems. Without bees, the ecosystem faces tremendous pressure. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Climate Change Puts Pressure on Turkey's Bee Population
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18 August, 2023
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