Ucak Koc Aytul

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BEEKEEPING STRUCTURE, PROBLEMS AND COLONY LOSSES IN THE AEGEAN REGION OF TURKEY

Ucak Koc Aytul, Karacaoglu Mete

Abstract
   We aimed to determine the socioeconomic structure, colony management practices, colony losses and problems of beekeeping in the Aegean region of Turkey. According to the stratified sampling method, enterprises were divided into five groups according to the number of colonies. We determined that the average age of beekeepers was between 47.1±2.35 years (Group III) and 56.1±3.05 years (Group I). Beekeeping experience ranged from 14.4±24.2 years (Group I) and 26.4±2.91 years (Group V). The wintering losses of the groups between 2009 and 2012 varied from 6.0% (Group IV) to 29.4% (Group I) and the honey yield ranged from 11.4±2.30 kg (Group I) to 21.4±1.38 kg (Group V). The primary problems of beekeepers in the region are overcrowding of migratory beekeepers at certain times of the year, varroa mite and diseases and lower honey prices. In conclusion, a lower education level, an increased beekeeper age, concern about colony management, wintering with weak population and increasing varroa mite and diseases problems due mainly to overcrowding of migratory beekeepers in the region are some of the characteristics of beekeeping in the Aegean Region. These problems can be solved by reorganizing the baiting of beekeepers, providing support only to beekeepers that make a living from beekeeping (Group IV and V) and creating an organizational structure among beekeepers.

Key words: Beekeeping, colony losses, honey yield, problems, questionnaire