THE honey harvest is set to dip dramatically this year after a poor summer made life difficult for our buzzing buddies.

A cold spring, followed by a wet and windy June, meant bees were trapped inside their hives during key periods of nectar production and collected significantly less to deposit into honeycomb cells.


Janet Murray, chairman of the East Lancashire Beekeepers Association, said: “The showery rain we experienced a lot of in the early summer months meant our bees couldn’t get out to forage and instead were eating their own supplies.

“The cooler spring also meant that flowers took longer to flourish, cutting down the nectar production time.

“Most beekeepers, to keep their bees alive during bad weather, feed them a sugar solution, but we can’t extract that as honey.

“Local honey is in high demand because it retains many of the anti-bacterial properties the mass-produ-ced brands lose during production.

“But the fact is there won’t be much local honey available this year.”

National figures indicate stocks could be cut by as much as 50 per cent, with the situation in parts of Scotland described as ‘disastrous’.

Janet added: “We’ve actually had a reasonable stretch of weather compared to some parts of the south of England, while Scotland has had a dreadful time – I have no idea what they’re able to do up there.”

The benefits of honey are widely known, such as: nutrition, treating wounds, aiding sleep and easing coughs and colds.

But Janet revealed that local supplies can especially help hayfever sufferers survive their summer ordeal.

“It’s produced from nectar from local flowers, which is where the pollen comes from if you suffer from hayfever, so it is very beneficial,” she said.

“It is also a natural antibiotic, so can be put on cuts or sores to help the healing process.”

The East Lancashire Beekeepers’ Association offer several courses, including beginners’ sessions. Go to