Cool weather to hit honey harvest

Federated Farmers expects there will be at least a 40 per cent drop in honey production due to windy and cool weather this season.

There would be a lot of beekeepers that probably would not break even this year, said Federated Farmers' Bee Industry Group chairman John Hartnell.

"They're going to find that their costs of production probably exceeds the actual crop that they'll reap after they harvest," he told Radio New Zealand.

He said the unseasonal weather meant the bees were less eager to leave the hives to forage, and he predicted there would be at least a 40 percent drop in honey production from last year.

National Bee Keepers Association president Ricki Leahy told Radio New Zealand the weather so far this summer had been exactly what the bees did not thrive in.

"We have hives down the West Coast and it has certainly been a miserable summer down there, really.

"The main problem we have with unsettled weather is the bees need to build up a momentum to get a good honey flow going.

"You also need that constant heat to get the nectar in the flowers ... so everything depends on a nice, long stretch of fine weather."


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