One of the regions in Syria's southern province of Deraa known for beekeeping and the production of honey is the Yarmouk Basin in the southwest corner of the province. On 21 January 2021, I conducted an interview with Fawaz al-Jadai, who is a beekeeper from the Yarmouk Basin. He sells honey and you can contact him on the following number for inquiries:
Q: What are the types of honey that you sell? And what are the prices? On what flowers in the Basin is honey produced? How has the production of honey been during the past years? Has the production decreased and why?
A: There are a number of types in the Yarmouk Basin. You have the Eucalyptus honey because of the presence of many Eucalyptus trees. You have spring honey, which is in the spring season because of the fertile pastures in the Basin region, and you have thistle honey that includes the purple star-thistle or eryngo or golden thistle plants.
The prices of the honey vary according to the type of honey desired. The production of honey: you can say it is relatively stable. You can say it [production] has decreased but in a proportion that is not considerable, because of the cutting of the eucalyptus trees by people.
Q: What is the most expensive honey and what is the cheapest honey?
A: Currently the three types I mentioned to you are the best and most expensive thing. And you have honey that is called fed honey [i.e. from feeding bees sugars]. This comes at the end of the season: it is the cheapest thing.
Q: It is not necessary for you to move between areas for the pastures of the bees?
A: For sure [there is] this thing. And there are some of the beekeepers who move and there are some of them who do not move.
A: Do you yourself move? Or the flowers in the Basin are sufficient for producing honey?
A: I have a big quantity of bees. I move some of them and some of them remain in the Basin but I found during moving that there was no difference. The rate of production remained stable and this means that the flowers in the Basin are sufficient.
When I have been moving, I place the bees in the valley below that is between us and the Kingdom of Jordan.
Q: Has honey become more expensive with the rise in the price of the dollar and the rise of the prices of the necessities?
A: Of course it has increased [in price] as the necessities of bees have increased [in price] because of the rise of the dollar.
Q: Finally on the general level what are the most important challenges and problems that face the beekeepers in Syria currently?
A: Currently I can answer you about the Basin only. The problems and challenges are the cutting of the trees. In the summer time it becomes a problem of the farmers' spraying the fields [i.e. with pesticides etc.], which leads to the loss of a great quantity of bees. You can also say the problem that faces us in Syria also is the loss of some of the original necessities and their replacement with business necessities.