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Wet summer set to push up cost of honey

Honey prices could rise after production was hit by summer downpours, it was revealed today.

Bee colonies were starved of food and prevented from "foraging" by the wet July, experts said.

Now the British Beekeepers' Association has warned that prices are likely to rise by up to 50p per 340g pot as a result.

Chairman Martin Smith said the impact of successive drenched summers with cool temperatures had hit the industry.

"Lots of keepers are focusing on rebuilding their stocks of bees rather than producing large honey volumes," he told The Grocer magazine.

Lynfa Davies, secretary of the Welsh Beekeepers' Association, added: "We have had reports where beekeepers have found their colonies to be either starving or very short of food because the wet weather has prevented the bees from foraging."

A 340g pot of British honey typically ranges in price from £2.28 to £4.50, the magazine said.

Earlier this week, Natural England launched a scheme encouraging people to create urban hives and grow insect-friendly plants in a bid to reverse a declining bee population.