An article from the BBC has expressed concern about the future of honey bees after a survey showed a “steady decline” in the honey crop.
The British Beekeepers Association says the average yield per hive in England and Wales was down by 2.3lb (1kg) this year from the previous year – and numbers have been dropping for decades.
Wales and south-west England were two of the lowest producers of honey while south-east England was the best.
We would be interested to hear the views of beekeepers in Pembrokeshire as well as other parts of the UK (and beyond) with their experiences!
One thought on “Concern for future of bees after fall in honey crop”
Whilst I have now had only a few seasons beekeeping, and therefore I can’t discern long term trends, it seems that the honey crop in this area is pretty poor. The bees here have good access to useful plants all summer, including many early trees, real meadow flowers, gorse, heather and much ivy. However, most of our hives have produced no surplus at all for the last three years, and the very busy hives have created a modest amount. The exception was last autumn’s ivy yield which was, due to the wonderful weather, so good I took off a fair bit of honey in the spring to make mead.
A few things to note: There are very few agricultural chemicals in use in this area. We have only tiny quantities of varroa mite, and no other discernible disease. I rarely feed them – only in an emergency. Most hives were on brood-and-a-half; a single brood box was nowhere near big enough.
I put all the problems down to the weather. Firstly, the microclimate here is not the worst, but it is nowhere near as good as south Pembrokeshire. Secondly, there seems to be a lot of rain of late, and cloud, cool springs and high humidity. I can’t think of any other reason why I’m not being more successful with honey yields.