Falling from heaven to hell because of a forest fire

Falling from heaven to hell because of a forest fire 2

Falling from heaven to hell because of a forest fire

Pine trees, walnut trees, and fig trees are the trees that provide life for bees in the area that produces 40% of Greece’s honey.

`That’s the whole way of life that we lost with the forest,` said Babis, 53, who makes a living from beekeeping.

Greek beekeepers lost everything because of forest fires

Greek farmers describe the damage caused by forest fires.

Bee colonies nurtured over decades, with skills passed down from generation to generation, were wiped out in a fierce forest fire caused by climate change.

Greece, along with Türkiye, Italy, Spain and Algeria, has suffered a devastating fire season that Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has called `the biggest ecological disaster in decades`.

`The climate crisis is a grim reality, showing us that forests are increasingly vulnerable and increasingly valuable for more than they provide,` said Dimitris Karavellas, executive director of the International Organization for Conservation of Nature.

But for Evia’s beekeepers, it’s too late to change.

Vakos, 49, the last representative of a beekeeping family, said there were only 50 hives left of the 130 he had, before wildfires raged across the island for nine days.

`I have been raising bees since I was 10 years old. We will never have time to revive the colony. We will die before the colony grows again. It will take 50 years, if we can go back to the way it was before,` he said.

The north of Evia is one of the largest beekeeping areas in Greece.

`40% of the country’s honey production comes from here,` said Sathis Albanis, president of a local beekeeping cooperative.

Throughout the summer and into November, thousands of Greek beekeepers will bring their hives to the north of Evia, according to Panagiotis Gianakaras, a local beekeeper.

Even for those lucky enough to save their hives, forests and food sources were destroyed, forcing them to look elsewhere.

`I have rented land near Volos, there will be additional costs but there is no other way,` Angelou said.

According to scientists, from rising sea levels to flash floods and more unpredictable and intense heat waves, climate change will change agriculture and force farmers to abandon productive land.

`We may have to migrate and put our hives in another area,` Vakos said.

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