Busy bee colonies have upped their average honey production according to annual Honey Survey
THE AVERAGE colony of bees in England produced 26lbs of honey this year according to the British #Beekeepers Association’s annual Honey Survey.
The result is an increase of 5lbs per hive over last year’s crop, the recently released figures revealed.
Despite a dismal start, a quarter of beekeepers reported: “the right weather” as having the biggest potential effect on honey quantity in this year’s crop, compared to just nine percent who thought weather conditions had been favourable in 2015.
Tim Lovett, Director of Public Affairs at #BBKA, said: “An unusually cold and windy spring prompted the National #Bee Unit to issue a bee starvation warning to beekeepers urging them to feed their colonies. The situation was compounded by the late flowering of many summer plants.
“A better summer followed by a long, warm autumn, however, gave the bees a chance to build up their strength and their honey supplies and we’re delighted to see the season end with a much-improved honey yield.”
Weather conditions and other factors which influence the honey crop, such as the supply of forage and the impact of invader species including the #varroa mite, vary enormously across the country. The East has again had the best honey crop of any region in England with an average of 31lbs of honey per hive, which the majority of beekeepers attribute to both good weather and an ample variety of forage. The lowest yield was in North West, with just 19.9lbs (9 kilos) and the Midlands’ average yield was 23.9 lbs.
“A varied diet is as essential to the health of the #honey bee as it is to humans,” explained Louise Jutsum, a beekeeper in the BBKA’s East ‘Adopt a Beehive’ region.
“While an abundance of yellow fields in flower with oil seed rape, for example, is good to a point; if that was only food for bees, it would be akin to humans eating nothing but egg yolks all the time. So a rich variety of bee-friendly flowers in our gardens and native hedgerows remain vital food sources for #honey bees.
“Planting the right flowers and shrubs, leaving Ivy to grow wild, or helping raise funds to assist good #beekeeping practice by supporting the ‘Adopt a Beehive’ scheme, are all good ways to help the honey bee.”
The Honey Survey was based on email responses from a total of 935 beekeepers in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, members of the British Beekeepers Association. Respondents were asked to state how many pounds or kilos of honey they had extracted from their hives by 30 September 2016, including any still on frames but out of the hive waiting to be bottled.
Curated from : Staffordshirenewsletter