The General Directorate of Forestry (OGM), which implemented the idea of ‘Honey Forest’ in 2010 in order to support beekeeping, expand the production of organic honey and bee products and ensure food safety, has so far established 673 honey forests in 87 thousand 987 hectares of forest area. With 60 new honey forests to be established this year, it is aimed to contribute approximately ₺300 million annually to the national economy.
Forestry General Manager Bekir Karacabey stated that they carry out important studies for bees, which are of vital importance in the conservation of biological diversity, and said, “The number of hives, which was 4.1 million in 2002, and the honey production of 74,500 tons, reached 8.1 million hives and 104 thousand tons of honey production in 2021. The annual average honey production in Turkey is around 110 thousand tons, of which 80 thousand tons are flower honey and 30 thousand tons are pine honey produced from red pine forests with Basra.
Karacabey pointed out that approximately 25% of honey production in Turkey is obtained directly from forests in the form of pine honey. “When forest trees such as chestnut, linden, acacia, rhododendron, pewpea and herbaceous plants and flowers in forest areas are taken into account, 85% of the total honey production is obtained from forests and places considered forests.” Today, there are 673 honey forests across Turkey. Among these, Mersin takes the lead with 34 honey forests, followed by Antalya with 23 honey forests, Izmir and Kutahya with 22 honey forests, respectively.
Source: Sabah / Translated by Irem Yildiz