Macahel, otherwise known as Camili Basin, is a 28,000 hectare-wide valley six villages located at the Georgian border of Artvin province. In 1995 the founder of TEMA foundation, A. Nihat Gökyiğit discovered that the area was one of the four critical areas in Turkey needing protection in terms of natural habitat and diversity, and directed TEMA foundation to Macahel for examination. Under the leadership of Assc. Prof. Dr. Yücel Çağlar, a team of 24 persons conducted four days of research in Macahel.


It was decided that a development project should be prepared in order to protect the amazingly rich biological diversity and cultural richness of Camili, prevent the destruction of nature, and create income opportunities other than forest labor.

Ahmet İnci, who went to the basin in April 1998, identified 2400 colonies in the Camili basin. The most important finding was that the worker bees in all colonies had black abdominal rings and there were no worker bees with yellow abdominal rings in the colonies. These findings, which show that the basin was not hybridized, ensured that the pure Caucasusian bee, which was thought to have become extinct in Turkey, was explored. This case was reported to TEMA foundation and scientific circles and the breeding of pure Caucasian queen bees came to the agenda, set to act as the engine for ensuring that the basin is protected, that people living in the region can benefit economically, and national apiculture can be improved.


Another important reason for putting this project into life was the need to reintroduce the efficient Muğla, Anatolian, and Caucasusian bee varieties of our country to apiculture with isolation, selection, and queen bee breeding efforts. The awareness-raising development project, which created employment and protected regional heritage, was awarded at the Johannesburg World Environmental Conference. In order to ensure that queen bee breeders and other apiculturists obtain their production inputs and market the products they produce, the MACAHEL Arıcılık A.Ş. was founded in 1997 by local people. Breeders were also partners of this company and began to perform marketing activities in 1998 with the participation of ANG foundation which has always supported awareness-raising projects. After the TEMA foundation withdrew from the Apiculture Project starting in 2008, this task was undertaken by ANG foundation. The raising of pure Caucasian queen bees continue today and Nihat GÖKYİĞİT takes a special interest in it.


MACAHEL Arıcılık Turizm Nakliyat ve Ticaret A.Ş.
Address: Çayağzı Mah. Fevzi Çakmak Cad. Karadeniz Apt. No:1/1 Merkez – ARTVİN
Phone-Fax: 0 466 212 5355 – 212 5455 (pbx)
GSM (Snt): 0 532 351 9825 – 0 549 351 9825
Mail: –