Honey of Ivanovka in Ismailli (Azerbaijan)

By Asif Masimov Дек4,2019
unrecognizable beekeeper harvesting honey in apiaryPhoto by Anete Lusina on <a href="https://www.pexels.com/photo/unrecognizable-beekeeper-harvesting-honey-in-apiary-5247994/" rel="nofollow">Pexels.com</a>
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The picturesque village of Ivanovka in the Ismayilli region is known as much for its unusual inhabitants as it is for its natural farm products. It was founded by Russian Molokans (a strand of spiritual Christians) forcibly resettled to the Russian Empire’s southern borders for not conforming to certain tenets of the Orthodox church. But contrary to the expectations of their oppressors, the Molokans soon built an industrious community and began to prosper in Azerbaijan.


One of the first families to produce honey in Ivanovka was the Ryadayevs. Head of the family Timofey remembered the early days well: It all started from absolutely nothing, he said. Before and just after the war some Ivanovka residents kept bees in hollowed-out wooden tubs, without the use of any specialised equipment. Everything was being done by hand. Then in 1957 his father bought two hives and put them in the yard and the following year they acquired two more. The next stage of development was moving the hives from the yard into the fields, a process pioneered by Timofey and his father. 

Not far from the Ryadayevs live the Zhidkovs, another pioneering family of the Ivanovka honey trade. Grisha Zhidkov is in fact a cousin of Timofey and their fathers began keeping bees at around the same time. During a recent excursion to Grisha’s wagon in the collective farm fields, he too recounted how it all began. Read more…


By Asif Masimov

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