Natural Beekeeping Workshops in Turkey

“If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.”

― Albert Einstein


Of course you recognize this famous quote by Albert Einstein.

Bees are amazing and highly intelligent creatures. I always felt that we need to learn from them about mysteries of life, in addition to harvesting their sweet honey. I think some of the clues for a brave new world are hidden in the great designs of nature. We need to look closer and listen better.

The bees unfortunately have been suffering greatly from modern agriculture and other technologies and as stewards of life and Earth, we need to better care take of them, if we want life to continue.

When I met master beekeeper Debra Roberts during my Brave New World journey in Asheville, I immediately knew I was in the presence of  a wise woman who has been apprenticing to the wise bees. and I knew that I had to invite her to Turkey to share her wisdom and practice with bees. Not surprisingly, she said YES!

Debra will be offering three workshops on Natural Beekeeping in Turkey in May 2013:

“Natural Beekeeping for BEEginners: Come explore natural beekeeping, honeybee basics, hive equipment and tools, start-up costs, what “organic” beekeeping really means, how to get in and out of a hive successfully, and good stewardship practices. Session tailored for BEEginners with no or very little experience.”

In Debra’s workshop we will cover the following:
• The importance of community in beekeeping and helpful resources for people beginning?
• Where do I get bees (what choices do I have?) and what kind should I get?
• How do I prepare my bee yard?
• How do I prepared my hive bodies?
• What kinds of hives should I choose? (Langstroth? 8 or 10 frame? Top bar? Or?)
• What basic equipment do I need to get going?
• The importance of taking notes and how to do that
• Costs
• What do I do when the bees first come to my yard?
• How do the bees need us to be around them?
• What do conditions need to be like for me to go into my hives?
• What are simple first year goals as a beekeeper?
• Good basic beekeeping terminology
• The basic bee life cycle (queen, drones and workers)
• How to use a smoker and why.
• The importance of getting a lot of hands-on l experience and how to do that.
• Hands-on versus hands-off beekeeping
• What is Natural Beekeeping?
• How is urban beekeeping different and what are the most important things to keep in mind about keeping bees in a city environment.
• How do I catch a swarm? The importance of a “swarm list” in a city (connecting beekeepers with swarms).
• When to harvest honey and how much.
• The hive as a superorganism
• What do I do when I leave this workshop?
• Women’s ways in the bee yard.
• Some wisdom about the bees from various Native American elders


4-5 May 2013, İstanbul
İstanbul Permakültür Kolektifi
Suggested participation fee: 75 TL

Limited to 40 participants.

10-12 May 2013, Çanakkale
Çanakkale Permakültür Topluluğu
Suggested participation fee: 75 TL

17-19 May 2013, Datça
Contact: (Pınar Kınıkoğlu)
Suggested participation fee: 125 TL (including lunch and coffee/tea)


Debra Roberts is a Master Beekeeper, Natural Beekeeping educator, speaker, mentor and writer. She consults and collaborates with other artists on honeybee-related projects and mentors new beekeepers in their yards, by email, Skype and phone. She speaks on subjects like:

  • Natural beekeeping (from nuts and bolts to the path itself);
  • Women and beekeeping; women’s ways in the apiary;
  • Beekeeping as a sacred practice;
  • Why beekeeping makes us better people;
  • Modern pollination practices and the stress on bees;
  • Bees and consciousness.

She is Vice President of The Center for Honeybee Research, designer and coordinator forAshevillage Institute’s Bee City USA Bee Immersions, on the Steering Committee of Bee City USA, Founder of The Honeybee Project, a bee mentor for Hamaatsa (an indigenous learning center in New Mexico), editor of a series of ongoing articles about honeybees and natural beekeeping, and is currently writing two books.  She is also a remote faculty member of The College of the Melissae: Center for Sacred Beekeeping in Ashland, Oregon. In 2011, she birthed Holy Bee Press. Debra considers herself to be kept by her bees … and is generally bee-sotted.

For more info on Debra Roberts -

Here is a video interview I did with Debra the first time I met her:

Holy Bee from Sacred Resonance on Vimeo.

Women are Medicine Retreat

Dear sisters of heart & soul,

I’d like to share an invitation from my heart and from the hearts of three sisters of mine:

Women are Medicine Retreat

4 – 9 June 2013
We will stay in a beautiful nature resort in Southern Turkey: Yuva (which means ‘nest’) Retreat Center:
About 7 years ago, one morning I woke up to a voice whispering in my ear “It’s about women’s work“.
At that time I didn’t know what it meant but I knew of its significance and I carried it like a prayer in my heart.
In the last 3 years, the ever-growing presence of the Feminine in my life offered more and more guidance and blessings and really inspired & informed my journey.
It was last Spring, exactly a year ago when I went on a short pilgrimage along the Aegean (West) Coast of Turkey: specifically I went to Artemis Temple near Ephesus, to the ancient city of Kaunos and finally ancient city of Olympos. In all of these places I felt the same presence: the strong, nourishing, creative, deep, loving Feminine presence. Great Mother showed up for me, turtles crossed my path, I sat with a goose nesting her eggs.
I was so moved by this presence that one question stayed with me:

what am I called to do as a woman? what is my service to this presence that we so need in our world right now?

The land as we know Turkey, which is called Anatolia, the home of Mother Goddess, is calling women to come together in circle. My personal sense is that “Women are Medicine” Retreat that we are inviting you is part of a larger invitation by this holy land, by the Great Mystery, by the Sacred Feminine.
When women come together in circles, there’s medicine – for ourselves, for each other and for the Earth. and for this simple reason we must come together. Now.
Whether you can join us or not, I hope each and all of you have a women circle that you feel you belong to. If not, I invite you to consider creating one for yourself and your sisters.
Please see the invitation for our retreat and if you heart guides you to join us, please download and fill the registration form and send it to
If you can’t join us, please hold space for/with us, be with us in spirit as we gather in a sacred container. If you feel moved to share words of wisdom and prayers, please do send them.
we will post updates at &

Will you share this invitation with women far and close, who might be waiting exactly for this call? 

thank you…
Blessings sister, may you celebrate being a woman at this time of evolution!

There’s ONE Life

I had a glimpse of Oneness yesterday. An embodied knowing of it. Thanks to a little mouse.

There’s One Life only. There are no separate lives. There are separate bodies embodying the same and only Life energy.

Yesterday morning I sat on a rock, my eyes fixed on the deep blue of the Aegean, the wild wind crushing everything all around me. I wanted to honor the Spring Equinox with a ritual of my own. Taking a moment to give thanks and being present to the cycles of our Mother, blessing the awakening of nature and becoming fertile once again. (sometimes I kiss the spring blossoms on trees, welcoming new life, oh it’s such a joyful thing) The wind was so strong and the tree above my head swayed so dangerously, I had to bow my head from time to time, feeling humility in witnessing this great power. Holy Mother.


As I was going through my ritual, I remembered the tiny face I saw in the kitchen cupboard that morning, the tiny little mouse with the pink nose. He or she had looked at me intensely, seemingly without fear. The house I am staying at the moment has been home to a mice family since the house hasn’t been occupied in years. So in fact I was a guest at their home. Yet, due to fear and habitual ways of being, I had put mice poison in certain places in the house.

During my equinox ceremony, I became aware that I couldn’t be celebrating Life and rebirth this way when I was mindlessly attempting to destroy Life in the dark corners of my kitchen. Because there’s ONE Life only. The same life manifesting as me, the wild wind, the rock I sat on, the mouse that cruised in my temporary kitchen…

I felt shame and guilt. Immediately I went back to the house and started cleaning all the poison out. I swept, mopped and burned sage finally.

It was an invaluable lesson for me. All the ways of awakening: sometimes the gift comes from a tiny life form that we so tend to ignore or avoid.

Later during the day, I had two other encounters: one was a frog who came to listen to me as I was singing a made up “welcome Spring” song to water and rocks in the secret garden behind the house. Again, he or she stood there looking at me intensely until I finished my song and thanked this being for listening to me.

The other came as a green spider who just walked to me in the bathroom and stood at a close distance as if she wanted to say something to me.

My Spring Equinox was blessed with wind, mouse, frog and spider medicine.


The Life I want to live. Here and Now

The Life I want to live. Here and Now

I come back to writing, here and now.

I got up from the comfortable bed where I’ve been reading a book I love so much “Entering the Healing Ground”. It’s one of those books written for the Soul, and gently invites me to be present to my Soul. I was shedding tears of compassion and healing and then I remembered. Writing is my love. For the longest time I kept delaying it: after this project, after I wrote those emails, after I come back from this trip…The right time never arrived and it won’t. Because the only right time is now. Here and Now.

So I write now. I will continue writing in “now”. Thank God for the simplest truths in life. Everything happens now.

I am creating space in my life these days. Not too long ago I advised some younger friends of mine who initiated an organization, a movement that is about creating the brave new world that we dream of. I told them “unless you start living your vision of this world NOW, nothing will happen.” Sounded wise to me, it still does.

And recently I noticed that I am not practicing this principle that I am preaching to others about.

That worried me. One of the values I hold close to my heart is to walk the talk. To me it seems nothing is real if I don’t practice what I am speaking about.

I realized I wasn’t living the life that I would be living in the “brave new world”. As if we first need to get there, we need to make this place called brave new world and then I would start living the life in my vision. Excuse my language but this is a lot of bullocks!

As everything is happening here and now – I will either live this life I dream of NOW or I will always strive to get there.

You get the picture, I am trying to close the distance, this ever-remaining gap between the lives we dream of and the lives we live. You and I can choose to close that gap now. Or not.

Note to Self: everything happens now. everything is happening now.

Anyway, back to my story. Realizing that I wasn’t living the life that I would/could be happily living and since it was my birthday last week, I decided to make an experiment: I decided to prototype the life I would like to live. I even bought a new journal which I called “Stepping into the Life I want to live”. Hey, you gotta make it fun and colorful, right?

The life I want to live has seven main elements: Spiritual practice (Self-reflection, prayer, silence, meditation, ceremony, gratitude practice), connection with nature (spending time in wild places, tending a garden), creativity (play, beauty, co-creation), embodiment (movement, dance, body-awareness, body work), meaningful work (getting things done, manifesting my vision, contributing to a meaningful whole, being in service of life), food and nourishment (grow, collect, cook my own food), relationships (tending relationships, being in community, co-creation, love and affection).

and then there’s sleeping, resting and doing nothing of course…

Because my masculine is more developed – like most of us – I tend to spend more time in ‘doing’ and in my mind, even if it’s meaningful work, and tend to forget resting, or working my body. In my prototyping I am experimenting with having these different experiences in my everyday life. Please beware I am not even pronouncing the word “balance” here which tends to stress more than anything. I am rather investigating a “flow” that my whole-being (body-mind-soul) engages with.

In my prototyping, I settled in a small stone house on top of a rocky hill across the Aegean. For 10 days. I made peace with certain facts, for example that I cannot grow my own garden right this moment because I am living a nomadic life. But I can invest more time in choosing my food, cooking and eating a healthy diet. We do our best in any given situation. I said, I won’t work for more than 4 hours a day. Now, it’s quite challenging for someone who works primarily with their creativity because creativity itself is flow and one cannot frame it into these many hours. Oh well, I’ll give it a try and see. Nothing to loose.

I am in the 5th day of my prototyping the life I want to live. So far I managed to keep work hours under control, I spent more time with myself, I started journaling again, I am reading a beautiful book and hallelujah I started writing again! I came up with a new creative project: I created my first e-book called “medicineWomen”. It’s a compilation of portraits of women I’ve been taking for the last 20 moths accompanied with pieces of my poetry and text from my several blogs. I am eating better and with care. I am feeling the immense presence of the wild around me: the rocks, the wind, the sea, they all witness me and I feel a deep love and appreciation for them. I honor them, I say thanks. I have a neighbor next door and we have good conversations or watch a film from time to time. She’s my community for the time being.

I am grateful for the experiment. For the time and space to do it. For the place that hosts me. For the guiding spirit that called me here. For the ancestors of this place. For the most amazing sunsets from my terrace.

and with this, I come back to my writing. Here and Now.

Screen shot 2013-03-18 at 3.21.16 PM

Play a game with me!

Beautiful friends, brave friends, beloved friends,

I am about to complete my 38th cycle on this Earth in this lifetime. wow, what a wild wild ride and what an amazing time to be alive! we are/I am truly blessed and fortunate… I am grateful for many things in my life. sometimes I frown and get lost in my little drama, but most times I am soaring with the inspiration and love I feel for everything around me, for what I witness in the world, for what I get to create and gift, for whom I get to play with (yes, YOU!!), for all the gifts I received my whole life.

LIFE is so abundant and fun!


I don’t usually ask anything specific for my birthdays but this time I will.

the name of the game is the GIFT.

If you want to play with me, let me offer you a few possibilities.

1. You can participate in my crowdfunding campaign. I honestly did not plan for my crowdfunding campaign to overlap with my birthday, but hey it happened! : Money can be a sacred tool to make magic happen in the world and that is my commitment. If what I do and offer inspires you, consider making a gift here:


2. I am part of a great initiative – a gift movement in Turkey. It’s called ZUMBARA. It’s a young, fast growing time bank and much more than that. It’s a community committed to gift paradigm and anchoring that in the world. and Zumbara needs support to achieve great things that it can and dreams of. You can make a gift to Zumbara through me.


3. Go give a gift to someone in the world! It can be a hug, a touch, flowers, a meal, money, a helping hand, a poem, a love confession, cleaning a place, “I love you”. Maybe you need to gift yourself something, how about that?? and if you feel so inspired, share your story of gifting in the comments. That would be a beautiful gift to me.

May GRATITUDE be our prayer, always,
May GENEROSITY be our attitude,
May the GIFT be the expression of our love and gratitude.

That is my prayer. For all our relations.

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