A the beginning of the season challenging for the beekeepers

News 18 July, 2017
  • Photo courtesy
    Joel Laberge, owner of the Miellerie St. Stanislas, in Montérégie, says that the honey crop could be dramatic if the bad weather continues.

    Marie-Eve Dumont

    Tuesday, 18 July 2017 06:30

    Tuesday, 18 July 2017 06:30

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    Producers of honey quebecois hope the hot weather in August in order to avoid catastrophic harvests after the cool spring, which has killed more than a quarter of their bees and the rain that keeps them in their hive.

    “The bees live for about six months of winter and this year it has almost been seven months. There has been a lot of mortality, and they could not begin to reproduce. I lost nearly 100 hives on my 400, it’s a big loss, ” says Carole Huppé, owner of the Honey Moon of Honey in the eastern Townships.

    The late spring had already heavily affected bee colonies. Some beekeepers have lost 25 % to 30 % of their hive, and even more in some cases. “The winter has been difficult in all regions where it is made honey “, confirms Leo Buteau, president of the Federation of beekeepers of Quebec.

    “Dramatic “

    “We are three weeks behind our normal production. If the situation does not change, this will be dramatic for the harvest of honey, but also for the balance in the hive “, is worried about Joel Laberge, owner of the Honey farm St-Stanislas, in Montérégie.

    The rainy summer does not help rebuild colonies weakened since the beginning of the year because the bees do not leave for foraging. It also lacks of heat, according to the beekeepers, which does not allow, among other things, to the flowers release their nectar. The colonies of bees will not rebuild not if there is not enough food.

    “The rain has only added to the handicap with which they started the season. There are not enough nice days to accumulate reserves. If it was a beautiful day, followed by three days of rain, the bees will eat all the reserve that they have made, ” explains Dr. Laberge.

    Zero honey

    Chantale Létourneau, Honey Pellerin, in the Centre-du-Québec has lost 50% of his hives after the winter, or about 75 hives out of the 150 that it has.

    She was able to rebuild a party in the sending of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean to pollinate the fields of blueberries – where the temperature was more merciful, but those who remained do not give honey.

    “For the moment, for the honey of clover or the honey summer, it is zero. As the colony is weakened, it will affect may also be the honey fall “, falling leaves Ms. Letourneau.

    Beekeepers all hope that the month of August will be more merciful to be able to save the season, even if for some it is already too late.

    High price

    “We will not be able to catch up what is lost, even if it was a good fall harvest. This is the second year in a row that it’s ordinary, ” insists Ms. Letourneau.

    Mr. Laberge believes that the bad season, which announcement could push up the prices of honey for consumers who are fond of this product. The honey québec 2017 should be a commodity more rare.