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'Depressingly small' honey crop from British beekeepers

Staff Writer |
The country’s honey crop remains depressingly small, just 24 lbs or approaching 11 kilos per hive, pointing to a steady decline in the crop and an increase in worries about the future of honey bees.

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The results of the British Beekeepers Association’s annual Honey Survey reveal that the average beekeeper in England produced 23.8 lbs (11.8 kilos) of honey this year – a decrease of 2.3 lbs over last year’s crop.

The two most productive regions in England continue to be the South East, producing 30.1 lbs of honey and the East with 29.3 lbs of honey per hive, while those areas which suffered a particularly wet summer, Wales and the South West, both saw their honey crop drop to 18 lbs per hive.

Britain differs from the rest of Europe in that most of its beekeeping is carried out by amateur beekeepers, whereas in much of the rest of Europe it is carried out by bee farmers.

In common with the EU as whole, Britain does not produce enough honey to meet demand.

“A honey crop of fifty to a hundred pounds was typical when I started beekeeping in the 1950’s,” said Job Hobrough who was recently awarded his BBKA certificate for sixty years of beekeeping and is the BBKA’s Adopt a Beehive representative for the North East region.