3 Oct 2008

Honey drought

My attention has only just been drawn to what The Independent recently called the Honey Drought (photo taken from that article). Winter viruses and the wettest August for years have combined to leave Britain's beehives dry.

Rowse, the UK's biggest honey supplier, has warned that the harvest has been so poor that major supermarkets will run out of stocks of English honey before Christmas. A global shortfall in production from Argentina to Australia has also driven up raw honey prices by 60 per cent in the last 12 months. UK Beekeepers and researchers believe that the long term prospects of not only the nation's bee colonies but the 25 per cent of the UK's food production (contributing around £165m to the economy) that relies on crops being pollinated by bees is in jeopardy.

This all comes on top of numerous other problems faced by bees - see the label below for a link to various discussions including about how one in three of Gloucestershire's colonies have been lost already.

The weather has also been disastrous for other British harvests: Wheat - One of the best harvests in years has been ruined by weeks of heavy rain that as soaked crops and prevented farmers from operating combine harvesters. The National Farmers' Union estimates up to half the crop still remains in fields. Damsons - Orchard owners in Cumbria, Kent, Shropshire and Worcestershire have reported a disastrous season with a knock-on effect for damson jam producers. Pears - Britain's pear crop will be 38% lower this year after late spring frosts.

See The Independent article:

No comments: