Honey production down by 15 percent

Photo: PollyDot, Pixabay / CC0

The Czech Republic’s honey production is expected to be very low this year, Czech Radio reported this week. According to data from the Czech Beekeeper’s Union, Czech honey production will be about 15 percent lower than last year.

Photo: PollyDot,  Pixabay / CC0
One of the main reasons behind the drop in honey production are unfavourable weather conditions, namely a cold spring and dry summer, which resulted in a lack of nourishment. Some bee colonies were also decimated by diseases, especially by the Varroa mites. Last year Czech beekeepers received subsidies to the tune of 30 million crowns to cover the Varroa mite treatment, which is twice as much as in 2014.

The Czech State Veterinary Administration investigated 26 cases of mass mortality of bees. According to its spokesman, Petr Majer, that is almost twice as many cases as in 2018.

“Last year, the State Veterinary Authority investigated 15 such cases throughout the whole year. Among the other most common causes of sudden mortality of bees are poisonings, caused by the wrong use of pesticides,” Mr. Majer told Czech Radio.

If beekeepers lose more than a fourth of their bee colonies, they have to report the loss to the State Veterinary Administration. However, not all of them do so, so the number of such cases is likely to be even higher.

According to Jarmila Machová, the head of the Czech Beekeepers’ Union, another reason behind the drop in honey production is bad weather in the spring of this year:

“The cold and rainy May weather prevented bees from flying, that’s why we have less honey. Over the past three years, the annual honey production has dropped from 10,000 tonnes to a little over 7,000.

“According to preliminary results provided by our members, this year’s production will be nearly 2,000 tonnes lower than last year,” Mrs. Machová told Czech Radio.

As a result, the price of honey is likely to increase to an average of 150 crowns per kilo. Consumption of honey in the Czech Republic has doubled over the past ten years. According to data from the Czech Statistics Office, every Czech consumes around a kilogramme of honey per year.