Weekly Product Updates

W41: Honey Update

Honey
Brazil
Sustainability & Environmental Impact
Bulgaria
Market & Price Trends
Published Oct 20, 2023
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In W41 in the honey landscape, Poland witnessed a significant surge in beekeeping interest, with over 91 thousand people engaged in this activity, marking an 84% increase from 2011. This growth in beekeeping is attributed to support programs, resulting in nearly 2.2 million bee families in 2022, almost double the number in 2009. Approximately 98% of farms have up to 80 bee hives, with the largest apiary farms in the Warmian-Masurian, Lublin, West Pomeranian, and Lubusz voivodeship. However, despite the increased hive number and interest, honey production in Poland does not exhibit a consistent upward trend and remains insufficient to meet national demand even in favorable years. Honey production has ranged from 13 thousand metric tons (mt) to 24 thousand mt in recent years.

Beekeepers in Minas Gerais, Brazil, are facing issues of bee mortality due to pesticide poisoning from nearby crop usage. To address this problem, the Minas Gerais Agricultural Institute (IMA), associated with the State Secretariat for Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply (Seapa), is collaborating with the private sector to encourage the regularization of bee producers in the region. Registration with the IMA aids in state mapping, enabling swift responses to instances of high bee mortality and facilitating the development of appropriate public policies for beekeeping.

Bulgarian beekeepers and agricultural producers are facing challenges in selling their products. Over the past three years (2020-2022), the largest imports of bee honey in Bulgaria came from Poland, while for the first half of 2023, the largest imports were from Greece. Beekeepers are concerned about low prices, and there's a lack of demand for domestically produced conventional and organic honey. Bulgaria annually produces between 10 thousand to 12 thousand mt of honey and imports at smaller quantities than domestic production.

In Kerala, India, beekeeping has emerged as an alternative to struggling rubber plantations. However, adverse weather, rising production costs, and bee infections have hit the industry hard. Honey production, which relies on rubber tree nectar, saw a sharp decline due to untimely rain, with yields dropping from the expected 10 kilograms (kg) per hive to just 4.5 kg. Bees face disease challenges, and farmers need more resources for disease management. The cost of feeding bees with sugar syrup during off-seasons has risen significantly, with a beekeeper needing at least 10 kg of sugar for every 1.7 thousand to 2 thousand colonies.

South Korea’s beekeeping industry faces potential damage to domestic beekeeping producers from imported honey due to the Korea-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. There are also no countermeasures in place to address the disappearance of bee colonies, or to establish direct beekeeping payments, introduce mandatory beekeeping self-support funds, or a honey grading system. Notably, the honey grading system is progressing, with legal standards developed to include honey in livestock products subject to grading. However, many bills aiming to amend and enact laws to protect domestic beekeepers have not been deliberated in the 21st National Assembly, raising concerns about their potential dismissal.

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