Climate Change Puts Pressure on Turkey's Bee Population

MACAHEL, TURKEY - AUGUST 17: A pure Caucasian bee moves around the entrance of a hive on August 17, 2023 in Macahel, Turkey. Macahel an area of villages on the Turkish-Georgian border is home to the only genetically pure strain of the Caucasian bee, although the bee is found in other parts of Turkey, scientists discovered that the area held the only pure version. Since the bee’s discovery and other plants and animals’endemic to the region, the area was designated a nature reserve. Strict rules have been applied to the area and no other species of bee are allowed into the area. The bees have one of the highest honey outputs of any bee species in the world, making a queen bee highly sort after by beekeepers. Many local beekeepers specialise in breeding the queen bees which are sold across the country, they are crossbreed with other species and can increase the honey production of a colony two-fold within two months. However, climate change over the past four years has had a noticeable effect on the output of flowers and fruit and vegetable plants in the region, creating a ripple effect on bee colonies, with local beekeepers expecting a 70% decrease in honey production in 2023. Turkey is the worlds second largest honey producer after China; however, years of climate change is decimating Turkey’s bee populations. Increases in wildfires, heatwaves, drought, fluctuating rainfall patterns and rising humidity, have taken a huge toll on bee populations and 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)
MACAHEL, TURKEY - AUGUST 17: A pure Caucasian bee moves around the entrance of a hive on August 17, 2023 in Macahel, Turkey. Macahel an area of villages on the Turkish-Georgian border is home to the only genetically pure strain of the Caucasian bee, although the bee is found in other parts of Turkey, scientists discovered that the area held the only pure version. Since the bee’s discovery and other plants and animals’endemic to the region, the area was designated a nature reserve. Strict rules have been applied to the area and no other species of bee are allowed into the area. The bees have one of the highest honey outputs of any bee species in the world, making a queen bee highly sort after by beekeepers. Many local beekeepers specialise in breeding the queen bees which are sold across the country, they are crossbreed with other species and can increase the honey production of a colony two-fold within two months. However, climate change over the past four years has had a noticeable effect on the output of flowers and fruit and vegetable plants in the region, creating a ripple effect on bee colonies, with local beekeepers expecting a 70% decrease in honey production in 2023. Turkey is the worlds second largest honey producer after China; however, years of climate change is decimating Turkey’s bee populations. Increases in wildfires, heatwaves, drought, fluctuating rainfall patterns and rising humidity, have taken a huge toll on bee populations and 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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17 August, 2023
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