Cool sum­mer hits honey har­vest hard

South Waikato News - - Farming -

ris­ing prices.

Wet and windy con­di­tions have af­fected the pro­duc­tion of all types of honey and would mean a poor har­vest if the weather pat­tern con­tin­ued into Fe­bru­ary, Api­cul­ture NZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Karin Kos said.

Strong winds were bad for honey pro­duc­tion be­cause it dis­cour­aged bees from col­lect­ing plant nec­tar.

It was too early to know its ef­fect on yields and on the mar­ket as some re­gions had fared bet­ter than oth­ers for honey col­lec­tion.

‘‘It’s too early to say and it’s been vari­able across the coun­try,’’ Kos said.

‘‘It’s the un­fa­vor­able con­di­tions and the un­sea­son­able con­di­tions across the coun­try. It’s been very up and down.’’

It had re­sulted in low nec­tar lev­els in the trees and plants used by bees to col­lect for honey, Kos said. ‘‘That’s re­flec­tive again of the weather.’’ The honey col­lect­ing sea­son was about three-quar­ters through, run­ning from Oc­to­ber-novem­ber to the end of Fe­bru­ary. This year, it could run later as a re­sult of poor weather.

Comvita chief ex­ec­u­tive Scott Coul­ter said it was likely there would be a 60 per cent short­fall in har­vest ex­pec­ta­tions for the 2017 honey sea­son be­cause of the un­favourable weather con­di­tions.

‘‘The ma­jor­ity of the coun­try has seen cold, wet and windy con­di­tions over the op­ti­mal nec­tar flow pe­riod. There is still some time in cer­tain ar­eas of the coun­try, sub­ject to a sus­tained pe­riod of fine weather, to see some form of re­cov­ery. How­ever it ap­pears the whole in­dus­try is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing one of the most dif­fi­cult honey pro­duc­tion sea­sons for many years.’’

The bud­get for Comvita’s api­ary busi­ness is based on an aver­age har­vest year

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