Friday, 25 April 2014

No.of bee colonies, beekeepers down in ČR

ČTK |
7 December 2012

Prague, Dec 6 (CTK) - The number of bee colonies has fallen in the Czech Republic to the current 538,000, 30,000 lower than a year earlier, and the number of beekeepers has decreased as well, Miloslav Peroutka of the Czech Bee-keepers' Association (CSV) told CTK Thursday.

Honey production is also lower this year but honey prices remain at last year's level. Honey production, according to the association's estimates, should move between 5,000 and 6,000 tonnes, compared with last year's record nearly 10,500 tonnes.

The number of beekeepers dropped by some 1,700 to around 47,500.

Despite the moderate fall, bee numbers are nearly one fifth higher than in 2008 after bee colonies were hit by varroasis. However, in the past, Czech bee keepers had up to 800,000 bee colonies.

Despite the weaker output, honey prices stay at the level of last year when they moved moderately above Kc130 a kilogramme. Prices in shops stand around Kc150 a kilogramme as retailers have reflected the higher VAT rate in them.

Honey consumption in the Czech Republic has been growing moderately in the last few years. The Czech Statistical Office's (CSU) data show that it increased by a tenth to 0.8 kilogrammes per capita last year.

Unlike other EU countries, under normal circumstances the Czech Republic is able to cover demand for honey from own production.

Beekeepers sell most of the honey directly to clients, while imported honey mixtures prevail in retail chains. Beekeepers are pointing at the frequently poor quality of these products and results of last year's controls of the State Agricultural and Food Inspection Authority (SZPI) have confirmed what they say.

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