Logo Miel du Jura du site miel-des-abeilles.comThe consumption of honey in France

French consumption

Pot of cold pressed honey with its wooden spoon for tasting.

We consume about 45000 tonnes of honey in France per year and beekeeping alone produces 16000 tonnes. When I read on the Internet that some produce 8 to 25 tons of honey a year, I wonder. I would like to be a little mouse to look at what is happening in the port of Le Havre or elsewhere. How many barrels of honey from China, Brazil, Argentina or elsewhere arrive on our soil or how many are redistributed in the hexagon and resold under the name local honey, honey of France, etc. I am not suing anyone, But we have to ask ourselves these questions and not only for honey but for everything we eat, if we are a little curious.

I understand that import is necessary to offset the lack of production and ever increasing demand, but the beekeeping industry should be required to carry out drastic traceability checks on the products proposed, with periodic honey sampling, which will be sent to the laboratory for analysis to determine the origin of the honey and to stop cheating in all cases. genres. It is the life of small beekeepers who are committed to doing well throughout the year to give you honey of exceptional quality.

In the past, I was a baker and pastry maker, I had regular health checks to guarantee impeccable quality to my clients, So why not put in place the same system for honey with the added obligation to write the origin of honey on the label (which I already do).

All these years, French beekeeping has seen its production fall in free fall. In 1994, 35000 tonnes produced in France, in 2014, 13200 tonnes, in 2018, 18000 tonnes. While consumption continues to increase, the yield per hive is about 20.5 to 25.4 kg of honey according to UNAF (Union Nationale de l'Apiculture Française). Our beekeeping industry has been in decline for the last 20 years and the origins are multifactorial.

weather conditions

Mid-mountain hives under the snow

The weather conditions, strongly contrasted by all those years spent too mild winters, late spring, torrential rains that are followed by great periods of drought, do not allow our bees to harvest properly and leave a proper share to the beekeeper. There are other factors that add to the climate, pesticides used in agriculture, corn-coated seeds, to name just two. But there is also the loss of biodiversity, less and less floral surfaces, lands nibbled in favor of concrete, the destructive varroa colony, add to this beekeeping practices with always more pharmacopoeia (Amitras and company), you get a killer bee cocktail every year. The winter losses in the 80’s or 90’s were 5% and today, we’re talking about 40% colony losses and I wouldn’t be surprised if we reach 60% mortality or more in the years to come if we don’t change anything! (Photo at the apiary on May 7, 2019 after 2 months of a very mild spring).
The current industrial agricultural system is destroying the bee’s natural habitat. Large monocultures deprive bees of nesting sites and the diversity of flowers they need. In addition, many beekeepers feed their colonies with pure sugar, which does not cover the bee’s complete food requirements. Finally, it is climate change that ends up impacting the diet of bees: shift of blooms, migration of certain plants essential to bees to other climatic zones… All of these factors contribute to the bee’s deficiency and thus its weakening.
Intoxications
This is the factor that most directly affects the bee. Its entire living environment is contaminated by toxic chemicals: pollen, nectar, air, water, soil… Both its diet and its nesting sites expose it to doses of toxic chemistry. A pollen grain contains an average of 7 different insecticides. Either the doses are fatal directly, or they are lower, but by constant exposure over the life of the bee, the bee will suffer sequelae: mobility and orientation difficulties, change in dietary behaviour, slow larval development, change in learning abilities… It is the whole physiology and behaviour of bees that is modified, making it more fragile, less adaptable, or putting it in direct difficulty.

intoxications

This is the factor that most directly affects the bee. Its entire living environment is contaminated by toxic chemicals: pollen, nectar, air, water, soil… Both its diet and its nesting sites expose it to doses of toxic chemistry. A pollen grain contains an average of 7 different insecticides. Either the doses are fatal directly, or they are lower, but by constant exposure over the life of the bee, the bee will suffer sequelae: mobility and orientation difficulties, change in dietary behaviour, slow larval development, change in learning abilities… It is the whole physiology and behaviour of bees that is modified, making it more fragile, less adaptable, or putting it in direct difficulty.

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Honey from the bees
35 Le Bourg Derrière, 39150 - Fort du Plasne, France

Phone: +33 6 32 58 28 00

Siret: 39093649000031

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