Polls show that apiarists in the country harvested 36.7 kilogrammes on average per honeybee colony in 2023. This is an increase of 2.3 kilogrammes compared to the previous year and twice as much as in 2021 when bad weather crushed all hopes for a successful season.
One 500-gramme jar of German honey currently costs around EUR 6.50 (GBP 5.65). Asked to justify this figure, which confirms a price hike, researcher Dr Christoph Otten argued the current economic environment had forced apiarists to charge more.
Dr Otten, who heads the Centre for Bees and Beekeeping in Mayen, Rhineland-Palatinate, said higher prices for energy, fuel and other goods had put beekeepers under enormous pressure.
His honey volume survey for 2023 is based on a poll among 13,000 beekeepers. Between 160,000 and 170,000 residents of Germany currently engage in apiculture. Each citizen of the Central European country consumes almost one kilogramme of honey per year.
The bee expert underlined that this year’s honey harvest ratio was the second-highest in more than 10 years. According to Dr Otten, apiarists in Germany managed only in 2018 to produce more honey than this year. The expert has carried out his annual survey since 2012.
Germany’s professional and leisure-time honey farm managers are responsible for around 1.1 million honeybee colonies. In summer, one colony consists of around 50,000 animals, according to the German Beekeeping Union.
Dr Otten concluded: “It has been a very good beekeeping year. Thanks to the good weather conditions, the bees delivered lots of nectar. Beekeepers were capable of extracting great amounts of honey.
“However, the economic costs have soared. It was about time to raise prices. Many apiarists are nevertheless unable to cover their costs.”