Honey supply picks up

HONEY supply has been restored after production was affected by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston last year.

Fiji Beekeepers Association president John Caldeira said supply to supermarkets had picked up and would continue to increase.

“There is not a significant shortage in honey supply. Consumers can find it in most major supermarkets.

“There was a short-term shortage last year because of Cyclone Winston but honey production has been restored to pre-cyclone level and expected to continue to increase during the next few years.”

He said honey production was seasonal but beekeepers had enough supply for the market.

“Supermarkets generally do not have a problem finding good local honey and beekeepers have several tonnes of honey ready to sell today. Honey production is seasonal, while consumption is reasonably consistent throughout the year.

“There may be times when a particular honey supplier may be short of stock but other beekeepers will have honey.”

He said more could be done to assist the industry.

“Increasing Fiji’s honey production is largely a function of the number of producing beehives and the skills of honey bee management.

“For many years, Fiji honey prices were below world-market prices, which were a disincentive for local producers to increase hive numbers. Now honey prices are similar to world prices, so beekeepers are increasing their hive numbers.

“Many beekeepers could increase per-hive production if training were available to them. Fiji would benefit from improved honey bee genetics to increase per-hive production and improve disease resistance.”

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