Lean honey harvest in 2021


October 25, 2021 - (Source © lid.ch) - This year's bad weather has also significantly reduced the honey harvest of Swiss beekeepers: On average, there was 7.2 kilograms of honey per bee colony - this year's honey harvest is 75 percent smaller than last Year.

After last year's record harvest with up to 40 kilograms per bee colony in some cantons, the year 2021 has shown itself from a completely different side, writes the umbrella organization of the Swiss beekeepers' associations Apisuisse in a statement. Because the spring was too cold and wet, the spring honey harvest had already turned out poor and the summer honey quantities had also suffered greatly from the weather with lots of rain, hailstorms and floods. As a result, the bees would not have been able to fly out to collect nectar and pollinate the meadow flowers and fruit trees. According to Apisuisse, the bees even had to be fed regionally, otherwise they would have starved.

Across Switzerland, the spring honey harvest averaged 1.9 kilograms per bee colony - in the previous year there was an average of 11.2 kilograms. The lack of pollination also led to a very poor cherry and plum harvest in 2021. Heavy rain and hailstorms would have prevented forest flowering in the summer, but short phases of calming the weather would have helped the bees to develop special nectar sources such as linden blossoms and late blackberry blossoms. As a result, this led to an average Switzerland-wide summer honey harvest of 5.3 kilograms per bee colony, which was significantly lower than in the previous year at 18.7 kilograms. According to Apisuisse, the total annual harvest was 7.2 kg per bee colony - last year there were 29.9 kg. These figures also include the harvest quantities in Ticino, which was largely spared the bad weather during the honey harvest months and, despite a decline compared to the previous year, was still able to achieve a total honey quantity of 25.9 kg per bee colony - more than twice as much as the «best» cantons north of the Alps.

Some beekeepers can still sell honey thanks to their stocks from the previous year, but for most of them 2021 will also mean a financial loss. This applies in particular to the professional beekeepers, who, in contrast to the fruit and vegetable farmers who are also affected, do not receive any subsidies from the state, it is said. And the little honey that is sold at all is likely to cost a lot more because of the scarcity.

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