By Amina Nazarli
Azerbaijan meets all the necessary conditions to develop the apiculture industry in its many regions. Domestically produced honey is renowned for its high quality and unique taste.
The Land of Fire produces a variety of honey flavors -- among them lime, meadow, acacia, crown of thorns, chestnut, sunflower, licorice flower, sweet clover, etc.
The country is home to one the most famous bee species in the world -- the Mountain Grey Caucasian Bee -- which can fly at 6 degrees C below zero and has the longest proboscis for sucking up nectar.
Azerbaijan has a lot of beekeepers, and the quality of their products is no doubt some of the best. Unfortunately, sometimes there are also unscrupulous "beekeepers" on the market.
That’s why it is necessary to be careful when choosing natural honey.
Beekeeper Hasan Dallayev, who has spent half of his life in the profession, claims that to test authenticity, one must witness how the honey flows onto a surface. If the honey flows consistently from a specific height without breaking and slowly disperses onto that surface, then you can infer that the honey is in fact natural.
Meanwhile Galib Abdullayev, the Department Head of the Agriculture Ministry, says that Azerbaijan developing new standards for bee products that will enable the buyer to receive more information about the quality of the product.
Abdullayev also added that next year, Azerbaijan will create bee gene pool. Moreover, the country plans to increase the number of bees and bee products.
National honey industry keen on exporting to the world market
Azerbaijan needs to develop continuous export capacity for its honey and bee products.
This statement was made by Sahib Mammadov, Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry as part of the conference entitled “The role of tourism enterprises in the promotion of local beekeeping products.”
He said that today, Azerbaijani honey is exported to Europe only at various exhibitions, and is not exported regularly.
“To ensure the release of the Azerbaijani honey on the world market, at first it is necessary to develop certain standards, in particular the standardization of product packaging. Only when our products will meet international standards, we will be able to export honey to the world market,” he stressed.
The deputy minister also noted the role of tourist sites in the promotion of domestically produced honey. “Inclusion of bee products on the menu of these hotels will allow foreigners to get better acquainted with the Azerbaijani honey.”
Azerbaijan meets necessary conditions for beekeeping
Widespread in the mountainous regions and adored for the nutritional and therapeutic qualities of honey, apiculture is a rapidly developing sector of the Azerbaijani economy.
Sahib Mammadov said that the country has the opportunity and meets the conditions necessary for beekeeping development.
“Azerbaijan has all necessary natural conditions for the development of beekeeping. The government has freed farmers engaged in apiculture from taxes until 2019, besides the land tax. Moreover, the government gives subsidies, preferential loans to the farmers to facilitate growth in the sector,” he noted.
Promotion of honey in the country
While the volume of customer demand for honey is 4,500 tons per year in the country, the country only produced 2,500 tons, exclaims Shamil Guliyev, Chairman of the Azerbaijan Beekeepers Union.
Azerbaijan has good beekeepers, they still need to update their knowledge, the chairman said.
For many residents of the capital one of the places where one can buy good domestic honey is a fair of honey, which take place in Baku each year.
Annually hundreds of beekeepers put a variety samples of honey on display. The retail price of honey varies in the country between 15 and 30 manats per kilogram or higher.
During the fair cost of honey here is lower than in the market.