In this episode of Explore, we go on a walking adventure in the beautiful countryside to uncover one of Azerbaijan’s finest local products: Caucasian mountain honey.
In northwestern Azerbaijan, the Greater Caucasus, with its mix of mountains and plains, lies along the ancient Silk Road, where Europe meets Asia. The remote mountain villages and immaculate countryside make it the perfect destination for lovers of the great outdoors.
Lekit is a small village at the foot of the mountains. Here, for centuries, locals have been producing the nectar of the gods: Caucasian mountain honey.
The mild climate is perfect for developing a wild beekeeping tradition, known as 'tekne'. By using a hollowed log carved from soft trees, tekne hives replicate the natural habitat of tree-dwelling bees. The absence of human interference is what distinguishes it from normal beekeeping.
However, in the 19th century, Azerbaijan’s traditional tekne hives were increasingly replaced by frame hives and only a few producers continue using the tekne and only a few producers continue to use them for raising bees.
Just outside the village of Lekit, there are several hiking trails which go deep into the forest of the Greater Caucasus. And it’s common to discover fairytale landscapes, such as the Mamirli waterfall, covered with a magnificent green carpet made of moss, a result of hundreds of years of water flowing amongst the rocks.