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posted by hubie on Wednesday April 06 2022, @09:05AM   Printer-friendly
from the un-bee-lievable dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Unpredictable weather in Europe has produced some of the lowest honey harvests ever, particularly in France and Italy. Only about half the normal harvest was collected in Italy and only about a quarter of the usual crop in France. Even recent high honey producing countries such as Romania and Spain are seeing decreases. The reasons for the declines are varied and include frosts, droughts, and heavy rains across the affected countries, but everyone is counting on better weather conditions in the coming year. However, even if that pans out, recovery will be challenging.

To save the colonies, "the bees have killed all the males to get rid of extra mouths to feed". The lack of males for mating may lead to a "lack of fertilized queens" next spring, meaning fewer new colonies and bees.

Bee mortality has also shot up in recent years due to an "epidemic" of the Varroa parasitic mite, the uncontrolled spread of the Asian hornet in Europe, and the "intense use of pesticides in agriculture", according to the French Cyclops report.

Beekeepers are also complaining about a massive influx of low-cost Chinese honey, which they say is "adulterated," such as being cut with sugar syrup.

There is currently no European legislation requiring producers to specify the origin of honey.

Labels can state it is a "blend of honeys originating and non-originating in the European Community", even if the product contains 99 percent Chinese honey and only 1 percent of, say French honey.

In Spain, beekeepers have held several protests against low-cost Chinese honey and authorities are planning to impose new labelling requirements which would list the percentages of honey included per country of origin.

In France, a decree is expected to come into force on January 1, 2020 which would list all countries that have supplied more than 20 percent of the honey in a jar, in order of importance.

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