Second lean honey harvest in a row for german beekeepers

Second lean honey harvest in a row for german beekeepers

This is similar to the amount harvested in 2012, but in good years the members of the association had already harvested 20,000 tons. Good news, however, is that the pest varroa mite has had a hard time this year. The beekeepers therefore expect significantly lower winter losses in the bee colonies.

"We expect 10 to 15 percent failure," said maske. "Compared to previous years, when we had 30 percent dead bee colonies, this is very low."The varroa mite has not been able to develop well due to the long winter – the parasite is one of the most dangerous enemies of bee colonies.

There have been major regional differences in the yield. Bad weather in spring and flooding hit beekeepers in southern germany particularly hard. "The spring harvest in the south has failed almost completely," said maske. The price of german honey therefore remains high, with 500 grams currently costing between five and eight euros.

The president also sees a positive trend among young beekeepers: after a long period of decline, beekeeping has become popular again in recent years, and women are also becoming increasingly involved in what was once a man’s domain. In recent years, about 3,000 beekeepers have joined the association each year, and it currently has more than 92,000 members. For many of them, however, it is not about commercial exploitation. "They want to produce honey for their own use or give it away and help the environment," explained maske.

According to the federal ministry of agriculture, germans eat about 85,000 tons of honey a year. That is the equivalent of more than one kilogram per inhabitant. The total of around 100,000 german beekeepers can only cover about one fifth of the demand, the rest is imported.

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