All over the world, people are leaving behind their previous careers and becoming beekeepers. Some of this is due to career changes caused by the pandemic, while others are tired of what they have been doing. In some developing countries, beekeeping can be a road to financial success depending on how astutely the apiary is planned and run.
We have blogged about the Ghanaian woman beekeeper who is building a busy bee empire, people in India who are prospering from keeping bees, and successful apiarists like the Maya people in Mexico.
We have also blogged about the tragedies that some beekeepers have run into due to natural disasters, like in Australia, Greece, and Turkey. It is a business where the ups and downs can be extreme.
One thing is for sure. You’d better love bees, or learn to love bees, if you want to link your fortune to theirs. It really makes a huge difference. Bees know. And considering your business is built on their generosity with the honey they work tirelessly to produce, it is hard not to love them.
Today we bring a new story from the southwestern province of Muğla in Turkey, where recent disasters in summer 2020 devastated the pine forests where pine honey is produced when the forests were burnt to cinders.
Thousands of beekeepers were left desolate, and some lost not only their livelihoods but also their homes. It will take 50-60 years for new pine trees to grow to the stage where they can produce the substance that leads to pine honey. Meanwhile, these beekeepers must find other ways to survive, and it will be a new generation in most cases that resumes pine honey beekeeping when it eventually becomes possible.
This unrelated 2:29-minute video by Alex Cruzo shows a different type of honey harvesting in the mountains of Turkey:
In the midst of all the misery and loss of the pine honey business, a woman named Asli Temiz, who has worked as a textile engineer for six years in the western Turkish province of Izmir, quit her job and left it all behind to become a beekeeper in Muğla. She wholeheartedly recommends that all women entrepreneurs consider beekeeping.
She was fascinated by this profession when she first saw a beekeeper in Dalaman, her husband’s hometown in the district of Muğla. At first it was the beekeeping suits that caught her attention because they looked like spacesuits. Then she learned that they were beekeepers. She attended the public training center and started to learn about beekeeping. It didn't take long before she fell in love with this career.
After meeting with Veli Türk, the leader of the Muğla Beekeepers’ Society, she went all in and made beekeeping her livelihood. His teachings led her to start her business with around 30 hives. She sells the honey that her bees produce on her social media accounts.
Türk and Temiz both believe that women can make a living with beekeeping. According to Türk, there are 6,000 families making money from beehives, and some are females. If they focus on producing natural goods, they can earn a fortune.
Beekeeping is a career that can appeal to women as much as it does to men. Some people treat it more like a hobby, but for those who are serious, bees provide equal opportunity to all people who run their apiary strictly as a business.
This is a business that requires a modest amount of money to be invested to get you started, but vigilance and time spent to stay on top of your bees and the health of the hives is often what determines your success. The greatest hazards are weather and natural disasters or bee deaths due to pesticides or pestilence.
There are hazards in any business, one just needs to have the determination to start over if such things occur.
If you are seeking a new career, consider becoming a beekeeper but make sure to take a solid beekeeping course and speak with some professional beekeepers before getting involved, to be sure it is for you.