BBKA (British Beekeeper’s Association) annual survey

The results of the BBKA annual survey were released this week – the good news is that more people are keeping bees and being more involved with supporting bees. However, we will need to wait to see what survival rates over winter are. I have lifted the following from the BBKA website:

*50 per cent increase in the number of bee colonies in the last six months
*four times the value of BBKA members’ honey harvests goes to the economy through pollination
*5,000 members of the public sign up to lend their support as ‘armchair’ beekeepers

The British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) estimates that each of the beehives kept by its members contributes four times more to the agricultural economy through pollination than the value of the honey received by the beekeeper. The findings come from the charity’s first countrywide survey of its members’ honey harvests released today, 28th October 2010.

The value of pollination provided to the agricultural economy by each hive has been estimated at more than £600 per hive.**

Speaking at the opening of the National Honey Show, Martin Smith, BBKA President, said: “It is extremely encouraging that our members have produced more than three and a half million*** jars of honey this summer – that’s more than a third of all the nation’s home-produced honey.

“We estimate that beekeepers have also increased the number of their bee colonies by 50% – up to 120,000 from 80,000 in March.****

“This summer too 44 per cent of beekeepers kept one or two hives which of course reflects the 40 per cent increase in people taking up beekeeping. With 5,000 ‘armchair’ beekeepers through our Adopt a Beehive scheme, public support is making a difference too”

Mr. Smith continued:
“The test of whether beekeeping in the UK is still improving however will come when we survey the number of hives which survive the coming winter.

“But let’s not forget the £200 million contributed by honey bees through pollination and the resulting increased crop productivity.”

The current membership of the BBKA at just under 20,000 shows a near 100 per cent rise in the last three years coinciding with the huge public interest in bees and beekeeping.

The survey showed that while members on average have been keeping bees for just under 10 years, just over 40 per cent of the respondents had taken up the craft in the last 2 years only.

Beekeepers in rural areas tended to have kept bees longer at 10 years, than those in urban areas at five years whilst 42 per cent of rural beekeepers reported increased honey output compared with just 34 per cent in urban areas.

** Calculated on the £200m annual value of pollination provided by the estimated 270,000 hives in the UK
*** Based on 120,000 hives producing 32 lbs of honey.
**** Figures from winter colony survival survey, published 24 May 2009-10

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook