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.
BIRTH OF THE PURE CAUCASIAN QUEEN BEE
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.