British honey production is down by three-quarters.
Already challenged by the impacts of Colony Collapse Disorder (not to mention the slightly less common problem of bee theft), the Guardian reports that UK beekeepers are facing one of their worst yields in living memory.Many experts put the reduction in yields down to cold, wet weather which prevented bees from gathering nectar in the Spring time, leaving them playing catch up for much of the year. In some areas, the weather remained poor through June and July too.
However, in light of statistics that showed London bee colonies faring the worst, the London Beekeepers Association repeated its suggestion of a different culprit—the bees themselves. More accurately, as we reported before, London beekeepers have been concerned about an overpopulation of bees caused by too many amateur beekeepers:
Angela Woods, secretary of the London Beekeepers Association, said: "Rather than putting beehives on office roofs, we encourage companies in London who want to help to look at different ways of supporting bees and beekeepers. We need more forage for the bees and better-educated beekeepers."
As is often the case, there is likely to be truth in many of the theories being presented for the drop in honey production. Rather than casting around for someone, or something, to blame, we'd be better off pursuing a multi-pronged approach to bee protection that includes vastly increasing forage opportunities; upping resources for training and research into beekeeping best practice; and curbing dangerous pesticides and greenhouse gases.
That should be something we can all agree on.