We were looking for the remote ruins of Daedala when we met a bee keeper and his wife.

We set off last Sunday to try and find the ancient ruins of Deadela high above the village of Inlice near Gocek. We had read about the ruined settlement but none of the books explained how to find this hidden site. Our local enquiries were fruitless too but we set off with a bit of hope in our hearts. We arrived in Inlice took a dirt road and climbed up through olive groves that were carpeted in spring flowers until we arrived at a clearing. We parked up and spotted a bee keeper complete with his white cloak and face mask tending his bee hives. We asked him if he knew the way to the site which he did but said was a very difficult climb from where we were. Despite this we tried but failed so we’ll leave that expedition for another day.

We arrived back at the car and the bee keeper beckoned us. ‘Do you want tea?’ ‘Why not’ we thought – just what we needed. We headed over to find rows and rows of bee hives, a small hut and a old Renualt 12 parked up. We introduced ourselves and chairs and a mat were conjured for us all of to sit on. We chatted away whilst the pleasant hum of the bee hives drifted around in the still spring air. It never ceases to amaze me how hospitable Turkish people are. Even though they were living in a small hut they still emerged with enough tea glasses and chairs to accommodate all 5 of us, and themselves.

{mosimage}Celal Tombak and his wife Cennet (‘heaven/paradise’ in English) are professional honey bee keepers. Celal explained that he has 300 hives in total which provides homes for thousands of honey bees. Last year he produced 10 tonnes of honey! Although the hives are in Inlice now, Celal explained that he moves them around to ensure there is enough food for the bees. In mid March he’ll move the bees in his lorry to a village in the mountains above Seki for a month or so before taking them on down to Elmali. August will see him return the bees to the sweet pine scent here behind Inlice. He took us on a little tour of his hives and showed us how the bees work away. Cennet, who had moved to the end of one row of hives, then returned with a tray of pollen which they collect from the hives. This is expensive stuff as anyone who has seen the product for sale in health shops will know, and used in medicines. We passed the tray around and tasted the orange and yellow clusters.

{mosimage}We then chatted about making candles from bees wax – not an easy conversation in Turkish! The Turkish for candle is ‘mum’ but so is word for wax….so ‘mum mum’ made us all laugh.

We finished off our tea and bid our farewells. Just another interesting and unexpected day in Turkey!