French honey production 'exceptional' in 2020 so far

An “exceptional” amount of honey has been produced in France so far this year, due to the unusually warm weather and coronavirus confinement.

3 June 2020
A bee poking its head into a honeycomb. Warm weather and confinement have created perfect conditions for honey production in France.Warm weather and confinement have created perfect conditions for honey production in France so far this year
By Joanna York

Jean-Luc Debaisieux, vice-president of a beekeeping federation in Lille (Nord), said honey production in 2020 had “multiplied by three". 

He said: "And that’s only spring honey. We should still be able to make summer honey. So, it’s really an exceptional year.”

Read more: Summer 2020 in France to be hotter than normal

Read more: New map: Risk of summer drought in France

Warm weather

This year in France the weather has been usually warm, and beekeepers believe this is the reason for their bumper honey crops. 

Beekeeper Dominique Céna from Sucy-en-Brie (Val-de-Marne) said: “2020 has been another indicator of global warming. 

"We practically didn’t have a winter. The bee colonies started very early in the season, and we had humidity in the first trimester. That means that the plants had all the necessary conditions to be able to grow quickly. 

"And the bee colonies have, clearly, made the most of that.”


Confinement conditions

Confinement as a result of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 - which causes Covid-19 - in France has also added to favourable conditions. 

Bees have had a calm environment in which to collect pollen, and meadows and embankments have been left to grow wild, increasing the amount of pollen available. 

Additionally, a rise in gardening as a hobby has meant more vegetable patches, which have also made more pollen available for bees to collect.

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