“The impact of the pandemic in the honey sector were not felt, since the work was never interrupted (as in other agricultural activities) and sales of the product did not suffer a significant impact”, the National Federation of Beekeepers of Portugal (FNAP) told Lusa.
According to the Society of Beekeepers of Portugal (SAP), the prospects for the industry are now “promising”, despite the fact that the importation of honey from third countries and the “poor labelling of the same” constitutes a “serious obstacle” to commercialisation.
The FNAP, on the other hand, foresees that 2021 will be a year of recovery, following bad years of beekeeping from 2018 to 2020, which in some cases, led to a drop in production of 80 percent due to climatic disturbances during the flowering season.
“The current campaign is ending in the North of the country and the outlook is that 2021 can be a year of recovery for many beekeepers”, adding that, in the Algarve and Alentejo, there were normal harvests and that world market prices are stable.
With regard to the Asian wasp, both FNAP and SAP confirm that it remains a problem, with the beekeeping society underscoring the lack of prevention and supervision.
“The wasp increasingly continues to be a serious problem. The extension of the species to the south has already reached the Alentejo and I don’t think the competent authorities are giving it the necessary importance. Often, companies contracted to eliminate them do it incorrectly, leading to the multiplication of nests”, said the president of SAP, António Hermenegildo in response to Lusa
According to the latest data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), in 2020, honey production in Portugal stood at 9,817 tonnes.