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Bee Farmer Turns ‘Honey-Thieving Bears’ Into Taste Testers

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Move over epicureans; bears are more than the average honey expert. Turkish engineer and beekeeper, Ibrahim Sedef, knows a thing about bears and their intense love of honey. After Ibrahim kept discovering damaged and raided beehives, he devised an ingenious solution. Instead of being frustrated, Ibrahim set up a method to turn a band of honey-snatching bears into fine taste tasters. When it comes to sampling fine foods, bears love the good stuff, and plenty of it. Luckily, Mr. Sedef was able to protect his hives and learn more about the animal kingdom’s sense of taste.

Bears In The Hive

When it comes to honey, Winnie The Pooh isn’t a far cry from reality. Bears will stop at nothing short of demolishing a beehive to chow down on honey. Beekeepers who are passionate about their profession and protecting their hives got at lengths to protect them from Ursidae. Bears are no slouch about breaking into beekeeper’s property, no matter the risk.

Ibrahim Sedef is an agricultural engineer who enjoys maintaining bees in Trabzon, Turkey. Once Ibrahim discovered bears were repeatedly disrupting his bees, he worked hard to secure the hives. Mr. Sedef tried to dissuade the bears from stealing his precious honey using metal cages and leaving offerings of food. Unfortunately, Ibrahim’s prevention method was no match for the determined bears, so he turned to technology for help.

All For The Honey

Ibrahim got the brilliant idea to install cameras on his property. Photo trap cameras were able to carefully track the movements of the intruding bears on the property. Ibrahim used the data to devise a way to lure the bears away from his beehives and further prevent more destruction. Since the bears weren’t discouraged by caged beehives, bread crumbs, or fruit, Ibrahim decided to cave. Mr. Sedef left a range of tasty distraction for the honey-thieves. The bears had their choice of eating cherry jam, in addition to flower, chestnut, or Anzer honey.

Maybe the bears knew not to look a gift horse in the mouth. The table of honey samples left to tempt the unwanted visitors would prove invaluable. Unknown to the nosy honey-loving bears, they would be secretly working for Ibrahim. The engineer and beekeeper wasn’t surprised by the results. It turns out that bears have exceptional taste. Ibrahim would soon uncover what was drawing these beehive-breaking bears to visit.

No Average Bear

Anzer honey is one of the most famous honey available from Turkey. Two pounds of the delicious, ancient sweetener sells for over $300 on the market. When the bears would go toward the honey left on the table, they would always sample the Anzer first. Unfortunately, the cherry blossom honey wasn’t even registering on the bear’s nose or palate to be of interest. It took Ibrahim three years and losing an estimated $10,000 worth of honey before reaching a solution. It’s no wonder why the bears loved the Anzer honey so much. Anzer honey is prized throughout the world for its quality and taste.

Anzer honey is created using the nectar of over 90 flowers, and the region of Turkey from which it comes is a prime location for bees. Online social media, video footage of the honey tasting bears went viral. The Twitter feed of the Turkish Consulate LA shared the story, and it received 1,149 likes and 255 comments. When Tara Lazar shared this story on her Twitter feed, it received 44.1 likes and 12.1k comments. Regarding those naughty bears, Ibrahim had this to say. “…these boys know their stuff, they prefer the expensive and quality honey. These big guys sure have good taste.”

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