As if our bees didn’t have enough to deal with already. . .
In parts of California and the southwestern United States, a three-year drought has parched the land and made life pretty miserable for everyone and everything — including the bees and beekeepers.
The Associated Press reports that the drought has devastated the honey crop this year, and many beekeepers who depend on honey for their income are on the verge of going under. Here’s part of the AP report:
The drought is worsening a worldwide shortage of honey that has pushed prices to all-time highs. Over the past eight years, the average retail price for honey has increased 65 percent from $3.83 to $6.32 per pound, according to the National Honey Board. (quoted)
Since the drought began, California’s honey crop has fallen sharply from 27.5 million pounds in 2010 to 10.9 million pounds last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And this year’s crop is expected to be even worse. (quoted)
California was the country’s leading honey producer as recently as 2003, but it has since been surpassed by North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota and Florida. In 2013, California produced less than 10 percent of the country’s $317 million honey crop. (quoted)
Here’s a link to the whole story.
The New York Times recently produced a map show the spread of the drought in the U.S. over the last six months. You can get to it with this link or by clicking on the image above.
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