Climate Change Puts Pressure on Turkey's Bee Population

MACAHEL, TURKEY - AUGUST 17: 57-year-old beekeeper Melahat Gulbin holds a frame with Caucasian queen bee feeding capsules that contain queen bee larvae on August 17, 2023 in Macahel, Turkey. Macahel, an area of villages on the Turkish-Georgian border, is the exclusive home to the genetically pure strain of the Caucasian bee. While this bee is found elsewhere in Turkey, this region is home to the only unaltered strain. The discovery of these bees and other endemic flora and fauna led to its designation as a nature reserve. Stringent regulations bar other bee species from entering. These bees have one of the world's highest honey outputs, making their queen bees highly sought after. Many local beekeepers specialize in breeding these queen bees, which are then sold across the country. These queens, when crossbred with other species, can double a colony's honey production within a mere two months. Nevertheless, the region has witnessed a noticeable impact from climate change over the past four years. This shift has significantly affected the output of flowers, as well as fruit and vegetable plants in the area, resulting in a ripple effect on bee colonies. Local beekeepers are anticipating a substantial 70% reduction in honey production for the year 2023 as a result. Turkey is the world's 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 changing 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: 57-year-old beekeeper Melahat Gulbin holds a frame with Caucasian queen bee feeding capsules that contain queen bee larvae on August 17, 2023 in Macahel, Turkey. Macahel, an area of villages on the Turkish-Georgian border, is the exclusive home to the genetically pure strain of the Caucasian bee. While this bee is found elsewhere in Turkey, this region is home to the only unaltered strain. The discovery of these bees and other endemic flora and fauna led to its designation as a nature reserve. Stringent regulations bar other bee species from entering. These bees have one of the world's highest honey outputs, making their queen bees highly sought after. Many local beekeepers specialize in breeding these queen bees, which are then sold across the country. These queens, when crossbred with other species, can double a colony's honey production within a mere two months. Nevertheless, the region has witnessed a noticeable impact from climate change over the past four years. This shift has significantly affected the output of flowers, as well as fruit and vegetable plants in the area, resulting in a ripple effect on bee colonies. Local beekeepers are anticipating a substantial 70% reduction in honey production for the year 2023 as a result. Turkey is the world's 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 changing 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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Getty Images News
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17 August, 2023
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