bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A gourmet honey trend?

Facing competition from cheap imports and the ravages of varroa and the hive beetle, beekeepers in Florida think that premium grade, gourmet honeys may lift them out of their doldrums.

An industry steering committee has begun exploring the creation of a honey marketing co-operative. Instead of sending out-of-state for blending, the idea is to sell named Floridian varieties such as orange blossom, saw palmetto, wildflower and tupelo. They want to make Florida synonymous with premium-grade honeys, just as it is associated with citrus today.

Florida's beekeeping industry is estimated to be worth $202 million -- including pollination. It ranked as the third largest honey producing state in 2004 with 20.1 million pounds (9.1 million kgs). There are about 1,200 registered beekeepers, including hobbyists, but now only about 100 commercial beekeepers (with more than 100 hives each).The average yield per colony in 2004 was 98lbs (45kgs).

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home