Unusual weather during the first four months of 2018 has created a disastrous year for honey production in Italy, which could result in less honey for Italians to spoon into their tea. An estimated decrease of 50% in total honey production is predicted for Tuscany due to unstable temperatures. Higher prices are forecasted for honey as this difficult situation continues.
Adverse weather conditions, including rain, ice and snow, have resulted in fewer bees surviving. Weeks of rain and fluctuating temperatures have forced bees to remain in their hives during flowering, preventing the transport of pollen from one plant to another. The situation has become even more critical due to the visible decrease in flowers in bloom that can be seen throughout Tuscany this Spring.
Tuscany produces over 507,000 pounds of honey per year, which is worth 16 million euros and accounts for 10% of Italy’s total honey consumption. A decrease in Italian honey production will result in an increase of honey arriving from other countries. As Italy imports honey from only two countries, China and Hungary, there is a risk that consumers may find inferior honey on their table. Consumers are advised to read the label upon purchasing honey to know where their product is coming from.
The beekeepers and Italians alike can only hope that the weather will get better. (izzy lunow)
To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.