Beekeeping in Syria

Beekeping at Hafe (650m) ©M.S.Abido
Beekeeping is practiced in all geographical areas of Syria using native and exotic bees. this industry is florishing especially in agricultural areas wher major agricultural crops are produced. Best and high quality honey is obtained from hives kept in mountain areas where bees are grazed on natural vegetation. Modern as well as old fashion hives are placed in proper places during spring and summer where flowers of raised as well as wild growing plants are available. Pollen are collected by bees and honey is made. In the Winter hives are sheltered or moved to warm locations. Honey produced in mountain areas are assumed to be collected from wild flowers. It is free from chemical residues.

Mountain Honey
The Flora
The main honey flows:

-citrus trees
-eucalyptus globulus, grandis
-fruit trees (almond trees, apple trees)
-mountain plants (thyme, rosemary, cistus, thistles)
-heathers erica, calluna


Sacred Sites and Religious Places of Syria

Convent of Our Lady, Seidnaya
The Virgin Mary appears to Justinian with the plans for the convent of Seidnaya (© Hovic).
Straight Street (Via Recta), Damascus
Monumental arch and souq at the center of Straight Street (© Vinayak Nagaraj
The spectacular Roman theater at Bosra. Photo © Peter Brubacher
Krak des Chevaliers
Krak des Chevaliers, perhaps the best Crusader castle there is. Photo: A travers.
Monastery of Mar Mousa al-Habashi
The remarkable frescoes of Mar Mousa Monastery, Syria (photo © Hovic).

The Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Thecla (Mar Takla).

Icons in Mar Takla monastery, Maalula. Photo © Peter Brubacher.


Wild Flowers of Syria

Gynandriris sisyrinchium - Iridaceae

Cercis siliquastrum - Caesalpiniaceae

Pyrus syriaca - Rosaceae

Spartium junceum - Fabaceae
Photos by ©M.S.Abido .All rights reserved.


Mystery of where bald ibis goes in winter is solved

Northen Bald Ibis ©Stehen Daly
It's a weird-looking bird, a mysterious bird, and one of the rarest on earth. Now at least part of its mystery has been solved.
Satellite tracking has enabled scientists to find the wintering grounds of birds from one of the only two known colonies of the bald ibis, a wader once found in Europe, but now on the brink of extinction in north Africa and the Middle East.
Its population has shrunk to 250 at a site on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, and a tiny group of 13 birds found in 2002, near the city of Palmyra in Syria, 150 miles north-east of Damascus.
While the Moroccan birds are resident on their nesting areas all year round, the Syrian ibis migrates south at the end of the summer - and a tracking experiment has found out where. The adult birds fly nearly 2,000 miles across seven countries and the Red Sea, to spend the winter in the highlands of Ethiopia, 50 miles from the country's capital Addis Ababa.
This week, the three birds that were tagged, christened by scientists Sultan, Salam and Zenobia - the latter named after Palmyra's third century warrior queen celebrated in Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - have returned from Ethiopia to their Syrian nesting cliffs. It is hoped the other, younger birds that were part of last year's colony, thought to have migrated somewhere else, will soon join them.
Birds in the ibis family are distant relatives of storks and herons.

The bald ibis, Geronticus eremita, has a bald head, scruffy feathers in a punk-like tuft on the neck, a long, curved, red bill and a bronze and purple shine on a black body. It was was revered by the Egyptian Pharaohs and had its own hieroglyph.
It was once widespread in the Middle East, northern Africa and the European Alps - there were breeding populations across Germany, Austria, Switzerland - but, by 1900, the birds had disappeared from much of their range. In the 20th century, colonies were extinguished in Syria and Algeria, largely by hunting.
The current Syrian tagging project is funded by Britain's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) as well as The National Geographic Society. Bedouin nomads and rangers from the Syrian Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform protect the breeding site and the new data will help conservationists guard the birds in migration and in winter.
"The birds' return is a huge relief," said Dr Ken Smith, a senior RSPB scientist. "Knowing the migration route is a major breakthrough and means we can now tackle the huge challenge of protecting the birds throughout the year. The next riddle we must solve is where the young birds go and how we can safeguard them as well."
Paul Buckley, the RSPB's International Officer explained: "None of the nine younger birds in Syria last summer have been seen and that suggests that they use a different over-wintering site."

From the Independent By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
Published: 02 March 2007

The Fronloq protected area in Latakia Syria

Al Fronloq, which extends up to 4,500 ha. Is located in the northwestern coastal region of Syria. It has a unique northern (European) natural vegetation. It is a place where you can tour in designed tracts the protected area and see natural beauty of streams and various herbaceous plants.

The Fronloq protected area (35.51N, 36.00E-580m) is located in the Al- Bayer sub-district of the governorate of Lattakia (North west Syria), about 47 kilometers of Lattakia city. The Lattakia-Kassab road forms the Western border of the protected area. Whereas the “current Syrian Turkish borders” forms the most northern borders of the site. From the East, a 50-100m strip bound the site to the east of nahr Al Kabier Al shamali. Agricultural lands of Al-saraf, Zahie, Al-kabier, Biet shardaq and Kantara villages form the southern borders


Syrian silk brocade(Natural silk)

photo from :www.arabiannights.ca/brocade.html
Hareer (Brocade)
As one of the Eco tourism ingredients The famous Syrian silk brocade"Brocard" is one of the most luxurious products made of natural silk.
Damascus city is famous of making many types of natural silk especially the Brocade. Everything for brocade production is supplied locally - from untreated silk, to natural dyes.

Hareer (Agabani)


The Cedar and Fir protected Area in Latakia/ Syria

The Cedar and Fir protected area covers 1300 ha. of distinctive vegetation primarily Cedrus libani and Abies cilicica. It is located 40 km east of Lattakia at an elevation 1200-1570 m. It is a bird watching site and a place for learning natural conservation.

Paeonia muscula
A 20 km west of the Cedar and Forest protected area the citadel of Salah ed Din is located high in the coastal mountain range. It is just also a 24 kilometres east of Lattakia. Its natural setting is spectacular, resting high on a ridge between two deep ravines, and surrounded by forest. Much of what remains visible today dates from the Crusaders, who occupied the site around 1100 AD.

Cedar and Forest protected Area

The Citadel of Salah Ed-Din
The seven pages illustrated document describes the history and possible sight seeing of The Citadel of Salah Ed-Din. url :