French honey producers are already forecasting “catastrophic” honey production for this year, the fault of dire climatic conditions in recent weeks.
While at this stage, usually, “we made a good part of the honeys, around 40, 50%, there, we do not have them”, laments Tuesday Henri Clément, spokesperson and secretary-general of the union majority, the National Union of French beekeeping (UNAF).
“The bees do not harvest anything! In the hives, there is no food, the beekeepers are obliged to feed them with syrup because they risk dying of hunger”, deplores the agricultural union Modef (Movement for the defense of farmers family), which sounded the alert in a press release.
The causes of this disaster are multiple, according to the union: “A very mild winter facilitated a good resumption of laying, the very populous colonies were found without flowers or honey (nectar foraged, editor’s note) and collapsed in a short time This new hard blow is all the more critical for beekeepers as it comes after several difficult seasons “.
Except in Brittany
“We have catastrophic weather conditions”, adds Mr. Clément. “We have been alarmed for some time by the climatic upheaval which has a big impact on production. For the moment, hardly any honey has been made, except in Brittany, where they fired a little their game “.
“The acacias in many areas froze. It was a rotten spring, we were forced to feed the hives, rather than harvesting honey. We are waiting to see how the season can evolve, because it can be. recover, but the looming heatwave looks like it really wants to compromise the harvests, “worries Henri Clément.