'Exceptional year' for honey output

Bees have been busy this year, with production on the rise again after 20 years of decline

1 November 2015
By

HONEY production in France has started to grow after 20 years of decline, suggesting efforts to save the country's bee population are starting to work.

The French honey producers' union Unaf says output this year is estimated to be between 15,000 and 17,000 tonnes - up from a record low of about 10,000 tonnes in 2014, but still not enough to meet demand in France without importing from Asia or other European countries.

Thierry Dufresne, president of French bee observatory OFA said: "It has been an exceptional year, the best in a decade."

Good weather conditions, with plenty of sunshine and relatively few storms, have helped flowers bloom, providing a plentiful supply of nectar for bees.

In 2013, agriculture minister Stéphane Le Foll set aside €40million for a three-year "bee plan" to fund research into solutions to reduce the high number of bee deaths each year, which vary between 30 and 50% in some colonies.

Intensive use of pesticides and the chemicals found in some veterinary products used to treat cattle have been blamed. The growing population of bee-eating Asian hornets has also contributed to the decline in recent years.

Honey imports in France have multiplied by five in the past 30 years, reaching 30,000 tonnes last year, as demand for honey outstrips French supply.

subscribe newsletter image
Stay informed, have your say, join the community
Boost your inbox with our editor’s pick of news and information about France for residents and second homeowners
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
Updated! Brexit and Britons In France
Featured Help Guide
What Brexit means for British residents, second homeowners and visitors in France - now and after December 31, 2020.
Get news, views and information from France