Bad honey harvest: “We only see it once in a quarry”, laments a beekeeper

October 19, 2021 by No Comments


“We saw hives that were starving and it is very rare”, says Philippe Lecompte.

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“A very bad harvest like that, you only see it once in a career”, laments on franceinfo this Tuesday, Philippe Lecompte, beekeeper in the Marne and president of the Biodiversity network for bees.

This Monday, October 18, the National Union of French beekeeping deplored a 2021 honey harvest “disastrous”. Between 7,000 and 9,000 tonnes of honey were harvested, less than half of that of 2020. The late frost, rains and cold periods would be responsible for this bad year for the beekeeping world.

For this beekeeper, “we are between a third and a quarter of a normal harvest”. “We saw hives that were starving and it is very rare”, says Philippe Lecompte. He specifies that he had to feed the bees several times to keep them level so that, with a favorable weather window, the bees collect pollen. The problem being that “these weather windows have been very rare this year”, he specifies.

The changing weather penalizes the bees in their functioning. “The concern is that the winter was mild and from April-May, we had periods of cold. For us, beekeepers, we would need the reverse of this situation”, he explains.

“The farmer needs these pollinators and efforts will have to be made to develop the space for the benefit of the bees.”

Philippe Lecompte, beekeeper

to franceinfo

The president of the Biodiversity network for bees proposes that this development also take place near homes, in the edges, so “choose honey varieties to meet the needs of pollinators”.



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