Italy has had to say goodbye to almost 1 in 4 jars of honey (23 percent) compared to just over a decade ago with a harvest that in the last year at the national level was about 23 million kilos conditioned by drought and extreme events that caused more than 6 billion euros of damage to Italian agriculture. This is what emerges from an analysis by Coldiretti on the occasion of Apimell, the most important International Market Exhibition specializing in the beekeeping sector, on data from the National Honey Observatory that record a 2022 production that, although improved compared to the previous black year, is still a long way from the potential 30 million kilos reached in the now distant 2010.
“If the lack of rainfall has allowed regular harvest flights by bees, high temperatures and lack of water with early blooms,” Coldiretti explains, “have forced beekeepers to leave earlier to mountainous areas and bring relief rations and water to the hives as early as the first days of August. Harvests in the early part of spring and summer suffered particularly from heat waves.”
The year 2022 – Coldiretti explains – was the hottest year ever recorded with the average temperature higher by almost one degree (+0.98) with the fall of 30 percent less rainfall than the historical average of the period 1991-2020, according to Coldiretti elaborations on the Isac CNR database that show how the same anomaly is confirmed in the early months of this year. But in addition to the climatic situation of the hottest year ever – Coldiretti stresses – the “bee shepherds” have also had to cope with the explosion of costs due to international tensions generated by the war in Ukraine: from glass jars to labels, from cartons to diesel fuel. In Italy,” Coldiretti points out, “we consume about half a kilogram of honey per person per year, below the European average of 600 grams but a third of that in Germany.