Honey's too tight to mention: rain and cold weather hit hive yields


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The Independent Online

Rain and cold weather this summer saw honey yields from hives fall by almost three-quarters.

The amount of honey produced by the average cropper hive was down 72 per cent compared to 2011, with just 8lb of honey produced compared to an annual average of 30lb, the annual honey survey by the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) revealed.

The survey of 2,712 beekeepers in England, Northern Ireland and Wales found that 88 per cent said this summer's bad weather caused the fall in honey yields. The cold, wet conditions forced the BBKA to issue a midsummer warning to feed colonies if necessary to avoid starvation.

In London, which recorded the worst results with just 5.6lb of honey, beekeeping experts said that in addition to the bad weather there was a lack of food for bees.

Angela Woods, secretary of the London Beekeepers Association, said: "Rather than putting beehives on office roofs, we encourage companies in London who want to help to look at different ways of supporting bees and beekeepers. We need more forage for the bees and better-educated beekeepers."

The BBKA said the bad weather was likely to have a longer-term impact as it will have hampered the normal process of breeding for the queens, which mate on fine, still summer days.