Beekeepers in the southeastern Turkish state of Siirt began harvesting propolis, one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, in high demand due to its health benefits.
Beekeepers collect the propolis (scientifically known as propolis) produced by bees from extracts of buds and a wide variety of flowers to protect the honeycomb hives from external factors.
The two plateaus of “Jemikara” in the “Barwari” and “Gozlak” districts in the “Shirwan” district of the Wilayat of Siirt, which are about two thousand meters above sea level, are famous for beekeeping and the production of propolis.
The high demand for propolis, whose production requires great effort and arduous stages, has led to an increase in beekeepers’ interest in producing this substance produced by honey bees from buds, tree sap or other sources.
Hassan Sola (70 years old) said that he works in the field of beekeeping, which he learned from his father 60 years ago in the Gozelk plateau.
The spokesman added that the production of propolis generates additional income for beekeepers in addition to the production of honey.
He stated that “propolis is witnessing an increasing demand because it is one of the nutrients beneficial to health and helps to get rid of many diseases.”
Sola also mentioned that propolis possesses protective properties against many diseases in addition to important immune properties.
And he added, “Bees produce propolis from the nectar of a wide variety of flowers and other plants, while beekeepers collect propolis from under the honeycombs.”
He continued, “Not all honey producers collect propolis because the production of this substance goes through very difficult and arduous stages.”
“We produce an average of 5 to 6 kilograms of propolis, 50 to 60 kilograms of pollen and 500 to one ton of honey from 250 hives annually,” he added.
Meanwhile, honey producer Adham Suna said that the Gozelk plateau contains a wide and rich variety of plants suitable for the production of honey and propolis.
He added, “I live in the Gozelk area, where we say that propolis is collected in the plateau, and propolis is used in our area as medicine, and there is a great demand from customers for this useful substance that generates additional income for producers besides honey.”
Muhammad Nazir Jetin, head of the Union of Honey Producers in the Wilayat of Siirt, said that “propolis is a substance produced by bees to ensure the sterilization of honeycombs in the hive and protect them from external factors.”
He added, “In the past, beekeepers were not interested in producing propolis because of the difficulty of collecting it, but the situation has changed after the increased demand for this substance.”
He added, “The propolis is converted into a liquid substance after it is collected, to be sold later. Currently, this substance is collected from 50 to 60 dissolved out of the 500 dissolved in the area.”
He continued, “In the union of honey producers in the state of Siirt, we encourage the production of propolis because we believe that this product will provide an additional contribution to the producers.”
In turn, the Director of Agriculture and Forestry in the Shirvan district of the state, Nadim Aksoy, stated that beekeepers who produce honey earn additional income through the production of propolis.
He concluded by saying, “The Directorate of Agriculture is working to increase the production of propolis to provide additional income for beekeepers and honey producers.”