Unfavorable weather conditions and agricultural pesticides are reducing honey production

Unregulated use of agricultural pesticides, coupled with seasonal changes due to climate change, is leading to a loss in honey production.

Şükrü Gedik, Vice President of the Adana Beekeepers Association, told Anadolu Agency that the city is among the leading provinces in beekeeping.

Gedik stated that they have 2,334 members registered in their association, including 212 women, and mentioned that last year, over 14 thousand tons of honey were produced in about 500 thousand hives in Adana.

Gedik emphasized the importance of beekeeping, which provides faster earnings with less capital compared to other agricultural activities and contributes significantly to employment in rural areas.

Gedik noted that beekeeping, which is closely integrated with nature, is heavily influenced by conditions such as temperature and vegetation, and mentioned that agricultural pesticides also reduce honey yield.

Gedik expressed that settled beekeepers and those who travel to other provinces faced problems due to drought last year, stating, “Due to the drought, our beekeepers could not get sufficient honey both here and where they went because there were few flowers. In fact, they could not even cover their transportation expenses.”

“The resistance of bees is decreasing” Gedik stated that when the temperature suddenly rises in winter, the bees come out into nature early, saying:

“When the temperature drops below 14 degrees in winter, bees form a ‘winter cluster’ in the middle of the frames inside the hives. The temperature in the middle of this cluster is 35 degrees. There are bees there that serve as heating by vibrating their wing muscles. But when they see that the weather has warmed up a bit, they start going out to both breed and bring pollen. However, they cannot return with the sudden cold weather. Also, since they cannot heat their larvae, it leads to various diseases. Due to climate change, the resistance of bees decreases, they become stressed, and as a result, honey production decreases. The limited honey also becomes of poor quality.”

Gedik also stated that agricultural pesticides used in agricultural activities negatively affect beekeeping.

Gedik stated that bee deaths occur due to agricultural pesticides, saying, “Either harmless pesticides should be used, or these spraying should be done especially after sunset when the bees return to their hives. These spraying should be done after that.”

“Our honey ratio has halved” Abdullah Erdoğan, a traveling beekeeper, also said that their production decreases during periods of low rainfall.

Erdoğan stated that the yield decreased due to drought in Kayseri and Konya last year, saying, “Our honey ratio has halved. Everyone who went to Diyarbakır suffered losses. Since there was little rain, the grass dried up quickly. Beekeepers had to migrate to Muş without getting any honey.”

Erdoğan also mentioned that agricultural pesticides also negatively affect bees, saying:

“Bees die both in the sprayed garden and in the hive where they bring the poison from there. It would be better for us if the spraying is done after 5-6 pm. If the bee is caught while spraying in the garden, it suffers a lot of damage. If spraying is done in the evening, the bee does not enter that garden the next day. Even if affected, it is affected very little.”

Mehmet Ataş, who practices settled beekeeping in Adana, also said that they experience great difficulties due to agricultural pesticides in Çukurova.”

source: prepared by Melisa Beğiç

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button