2017 Honey Harvest in NZ

apple blossom in January?

apple blossom in January?

It's been a terrible summer for honey!

First off, all the beekeepers thought that the season was just late. You know, like "it'll be here any minute, ... any minute now...". 

Now it's looking like it's been and done. 

It's not over yet, and who knows, it might all zing back into life. I notice that my apple tree has blossoms! Silly thing thinks it's spring again. Blossoms AND apples. And my magnolia, that flowered in October, has got flowers again. So, clearly there is some confusion in the weather department.

But on the whole, the honey industry thinks that it is over.

Comvita has come out and said that it expects their honey harvest to be only 40% of normal. Yikes! See the NZ Herald on this.

And why is it a terrible year? Must be the weather, but who knows? It has been unseasonably cold, as anyone at the beach will know, that sea is not balmy, brrrrr.

What are some strategies to cope with a bad year?

Sometimes there is not a lot you can do with a bad harvest, it is what it is. But here are a few ideas:

  • Sell other products. How about propolis, or beeswax?
  • Sell bees. You could sell some of your hives. You might not be the only person thinking of this one, and the laws of supply and demand may not make this as lucrative as it could be, but worth a try?
  • Start a queen rearing operation. Harder than it sounds of course.
  • Limit your growth next year, knuckle down and just survive.
  • Diversify in some other way.

Good luck everyone! You're not alone. Not that that helps of course.

If you are just thinking about becoming a beekeeper, check out these posts on Are You Making These 3 Deadly Mistakes? and How to Make $mill in Your First Year Beekeeping