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Honey Appeal

The following rather thought-provoking text came from honey producers Rowse this month, and we thought it worth passing along to our customers.

What the Honeybee means to the UK:

1. Honeybees, via pollination, contribute an estimated £165 million to the UK economy each year.

2. Honeybees pollinate about one-third of home grown food.

3. In particiular, UK crops of apples, pears, blackberries, raspberries, broccoli, carrots and onions are reliant on honeybees for pollination.

4. Honeybees pollinate more than 50% of wild plants on which birds and mammals depend.

5. Around 30,000 tonnes of honey is consumed annually in the UK, of which, historically UK beekeepers have contributed approximately 5,000 tonnes.

6. The UK has around 30,000 beekeepers who look after 240,000 hives.


7. One in three of the 240,000 hives failed to survive last winter and spring.

8. Over two billion bees have been lost from UK bee colonies in the last twelve months.

9. The UK harvest in 2008 was in the region of only 2,000 tonnes.

10. The reasons for this decline in the UK are:

- bad weather which has stopped the bees foraging;

- more land being given to arable production with reduction in clover and meadow land;

- a virus associated with the Varroa mite which now infests over 95% of UK hives.

11. The British problem is compounded by worldwide honey shortages caused by changes in weather patterns and a number of parasites and diseases, as well as a phenomenon known as Coloney Collapse Disorder.

12. Enstein predicted that if bees disappeared man would only have four years left. The current prediction is that if nothing is done, disease will wipe out the UK's honey bees in 10 years.

What can be done?

13. Research is urgently needed to combat the problems besetting the industry. At present the government contribute only £200,000 p.a. to the bee keeping industry, whereas around £8 million is needed over 5 years.

14. The British Beekeepers Association has recently lobbied Parliament in a bid to highlight the plight of the industry.

15. Working with the British Beekeepers Assocition, Rowse is contributing up to £100,000 from their honey sales to investigate and resolve current problems to protect the honey bee for future generations.

16. YOU CAN HELP by downloading and completing a petition on behalf of The British Beekeepers Association


And by buying some Rowse honey, of course! We have added four of their organic honeys to our catalogue, in case (like us!) you have demolished your previous stocks by brewing up vats of hot-lemon-and-honey to help bust the recent coughs and colds.


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