Massive wildfires, which have ravaged Turkey's southern and western coastal regions, have also burned to ashes bee-keeping centers and apiaries, putting the country's honey production at risk.
Over 200 wildfires destroyed some 1,600 square km of Turkey's forest lands in the Mediterranean and Aegean regions in late July and August.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the blazes have dealt a serious blow to honey production in Mugla, a southwestern province famous for its touristic resorts and also its precious and special pine-based honey.
Mugla, especially its district of Marmaris, is home to around half of Turkey's beekeeping centers, and production projections for the future are very bleak.
"Most of the production field of pine honey has been destructed. There will be a very small amount of honey production this year," Samil Tuncay Bestoy, president of the local Environment and Bee Protection Association, told Xinhua.
He explained that an estimated 4,000 beehives were burned, affecting the livelihood of around 7,000 families in the Marmaris region.
But the most important loss, he insisted, is that "most of the production land, which consists of red pine forests, has been destroyed and will not be fully restored in 20, perhaps 30 years."
The expert explained that with a strike of timely luck, many hives were also saved because nomadic beekeepers usually do not come to Mugla until late August and are waiting in the plains.
"These producers, however, do not have a pine forest to feed their bees anymore, and it is a problem," he noted.
The production of this particular honey, which was registered with its geographical origin last year, cannot now continue for at least an estimated 20 years, professionals said.
"We practice migratory beekeeping, but when the bees do not have the necessary terrain to produce honey, they may perish," Ahmet, a beekeeper from the region, said without providing his surname.
This producer remarked that honey production will be heavily disrupted as red pine trees were damaged in fires, explaining that honeybees produce pine honey from the secretion of the Basra beetle, a scale insect that lives on red pines.
Three-quarters of the pine honey produced in Turkey is derived from Mugla province alone. About 20 to 25 tonnes of this special honey is produced annually.
Turkey is a major global producer and consumer of honey. Known as one of the oldest medicinal substances, the precious nectar always held a special place in Turkish culture and beyond. Enditem