I went to Turkey a couple of weeks or so ago and have been too busy catching up with backlogs since then to blog about things so I have some catching up to do. This trip was mostly up along the Aegean coast as far as Troy. I didn’t see nearly as many apiaries as on my previous visit, last October, which was further south, and around the corner, including going further inland up the Meander valley and the adjoining mountains. The weather this time wasn’t too good and, I’m told, was better at home in England. We had rain most days, although, generally, it happened when we were indoors or on the bus; clearing up for a while to allow us to visit historic sites. Many of the flatlands near the coast were trying to imitate the Somerset Levels, but were only a few inches awash.
On one occasion, we were driving towards a site illuminated by lightning flashes so we changed the plan and went to a nearby museum instead while it cleared up. Among the things that caught my eye was a collection of Roman oil lamps. Apparently they went out of fashion when beeswax candles were invented. Some days later we visited the steep and cobbled village of Siringe which is full of tourist-trapping shops and market stalls and, in one of them, I found a facsimile of the oil lamps embossed with the image of a honeybee! It was a ‘must buy’ item! I haven’t tried it yet as I need to find some thick string to act as a wick. Maybe I could just plait ordinary candle wick of which I have a stash.
This is a photo I took in the museum.
One day we had an excursion up to Troy, from near which we could see, across the Dardanelles, the Gallipoli War Memorial, faint in the distance atop the ridge. On the return journey I spotted a hive by the side of the road and, by coincidence, the bus stopped at a roadside market only about furlong down, so I took the opportunity to go for a wander to seek it out.
There was no sign of life.
A day or three later the tour visited ancient Pergammon atop a hill reached by an aerial lift and, on the way up, I spotted an apiary way below. On the way back down I positioned myself so I could take a photo. It isn’t very clear as the walls of the lift were tinted and it was raining but here it is:
There seem to be about 50 identical, white painted, hives set up in rows together with a massive stack of spare kit and a shed. It occurs to me that it might be visible on Google maps so I shall have a peek later and may add a postscript to this.
I’d like to visit Turkey again as there is much to see and the people are pleasant and friendly and nearly all speak English. However, draw a line between the Crimea and Syria and it goes, worryingly, straight through Turkey!