Aegean Region is the most important production center of queen bee, royal jelly, and packaged beekeeping due to its climatic conditions and floral resources. The region has a high potential for apiturism due to its natural beauties, tourism infrastructure, and ancient cities. Pine, thyme, chasteberry, citrus, black head, puree, chestnut, and cotton honeys can be produced in the region. The presence of bee figures on the statue of Artemis, which is the symbol of the ancient city of Ephesus, and on the coins of the period can be shown as an important proof of the existence of beekeeping potential in the region in the past.
Established in 1963 as the Aegean Region Agricultural Research Institute, the Apiculture Department in the Institute became operational in 1965. In the first years of its establishment, the first foundations of modern beekeeping techniques with education and research activities in Turkey were laid in this department. The first morphological studies in Turkey were initiated at the Institute in the mid-1980s by the scientist Friedrich Ruttner (1914-1998), who had important studies on beekeeping. Characterization studies on the morphological characteristics of honey bees, commercial queen rearing, supplementary feeding in honey bees and mass bumble bee breeding are the main study subjects that were implemented by the researchers at the Apiculture Department for the first time in Turkey.With the restructuring of our Ministry in 1987, the name of the organization was changed to the Directorate of Aegean Agricultural Research Institute. The beekeeping unit, which has been operating as a department of the Institute for many years, was restructured as the Apiculture Research Center in 2022. The Center continues its research and development activities on breeding of honey bees, beekeeping, bee health and bee products with its staff assigned to zootechnist, veterinarian, food engineer, and technician staff.
Beekeeping Techniques Studies
-Investigation of performance and behavioral characteristics of honey bee colonies
-Queen bee production and determination of queen quality parameters
-Honey bee behavior studies
-Organic beekeeping, good beekeeping practices and occupational safety studies in beekeeping activities
-Package beekeeping techniques
-Supplementary feeding studies in honey bee colonies
-Bee products production techniques
-Development of new technologies in beekeeping equipment
-Effects of climate change on beekeeping
-Mass breeding of bumblebees
-Bumblebee feeding physiology
Breeding and Genetic Studies
-Honey bee breeding
-Conservation of honey bee genetic resources
-Breeding of breeder queens and their quality parameters
-Artificial insemination studies in honey bees
-Gene expression studies in breeding materials
-Characterization studies with classical and geometric morphology
-Characterization studies with molecular methods
-Honey bee semen and quality parameters
Bee Health Studies
-Bacteriological diseases and control methods in honey bees
-Studies on virological diseases in honey bees
-Toxicological studies in honey bees
-Research activities and control methods on honey bee parasites
-Diagnosis of honey bee diseases and pests by microscopic techniques
-Diagnosis of honey bee diseases and pests by molecular techniques
-Gene expression studies in bee health
Food Technology Studies
-Bee products quality parameters
-Development of food supplements and innovative beekeeping products
-Geographical indication studies on bee products
Education Extension Studies
Within the scope of in-service training at the Ministry level, training activities are carried out on the subjects of General Beekeeping, Queen Bee Production Techniques, Bee Products Production Techniques, Honey Bee Diseases and Pests for the researchers of the Ministry and for the members of the organization in line with the project or training demands of the Non-Governmental Organizations.
By the researchers of the Apiculture Research Center, within the scope of project activities and academic studies; Queen bee, honey, pollen, perga, royal jelly, swarm bee, propolis, honey vinegar and bee venom are produced.
The Apiculture Research Center has been successfully carrying out honey bee breeding work, which has been going on for many years, within the scope of the National Beekeeping Project. As a result of the breeding studies carried out between 2008-2018, the decision regarding the Efe Bee Genotype (Apis mellifera anatoliaca) was decided to be registered at the meeting of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, National Committee for Registration of Pet Genetic Resources. It was published the decision of registration of Efe Bee with dated 26/12/2018, dated 16 May 2019 in the Official Journal No. 30776 and registered on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Breeding and Conservation studies of the Efe Bee continue in Bozcaada.
The spreading area of the Efe Bee Genotype developed by our institute is Aegean, Mediterranean, Southern Marmara Regions.
As a result of the selection studies on the Efe Bee;
-Pine honey production tendency is high,
-According to the region's bees, honey yield has been increased,
-The irritability is reduced,
-The tendency to swarm is reduced,
-A genotype with high wintering tendency and rapid spring development was obtained.