Beekeepers in Germany have harvested nearly nine kilogrammes more this year per colony compared to 2021, according to a survey.
Dr Christoph Otten – who heads the Centre for Bees and Beekeeping in Mayen, Rhineland-Palatinate – announced that apiarists across the country produced 37.2 kilogrammes of honey on average per colony in 2022.
This is a year-on-year increase of 8.9 kilogrammes and surpasses the long-term average rate by 2.7 kilogrammes, according to the expert.
Dr Otten’s figures are based on a survey in which 15,700 professional and amateur beekeepers participated.
“It was a good season. German beekeepers are satisfied,” Dr Otten said.
According to the expert, apiarists were challenged by strong rainfall in southwestern Germany in June.
However, Dr Otten also underlined that honeybees had enjoyed the numerous sunny days in July and August whereas the summer of 2021 had given them a tough time with its many rainy periods.
The study also shows that beekeepers have decided to charge six per cent more for their honey on average in 2022.
Dr Otten argued that the increase was necessary due to modest adaptions in the past few years.
One 500-gramme jar of blossom honey currently costs an average EUR 6.11 (GBP 5.28). Honey is the most expensive in the Munich region whereas the lowest prices can be found in the southern part of Lower Saxony, according to Dr Otten.
Germany is one of Europe’s biggest producers of honey.
The country’s 170,000 beekeepers – who are mostly hobbyists – managed 982,000 hives last year, 3.3 per cent more than in 2020.
Only seven European Union (EU) member states register more apiarists than Germany, according to EU data which ranks Spain on top, with Romania in second and Greece in third.
There are around 20 million hives in the EU. The association of nations is not self-sufficient concerning honey. To cover consumer demand, EU countries import substantial amounts of the product from countries such as Ukraine, China and Mexico.