Slovak Bee-keepers Unable to Cover Honey Demand, It Must Be Imported

(stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, January 10 (TASR) – Honey consumption in Slovakia has increased to such an extent that Slovak bee-keepers aren’t able to cover the demand for it, and Slovakia has to import honey from abroad, stated Slovak Bee-keeper Association chairman Ludovit Gal.

Some 3,500-4,000 tonnes of honey is being imported to Slovakia from China, Argentina and Mexico per year, said Gal. While in 2004 the honey consumption was a quarter of a kilogram per capita, the figure increased to 1.2 kilograms in 2015, he added.

“In 2004 we had a surplus of honey that lasted until 2010. We sought out possibilities to export honey so that bee-keepers could make money from it,” he explained, adding that since 2010 honey in Slovakia has declined.

There is currently around 17,000 bee-keepers and 270,000 bee-hives, whereas there used to be some 400,000 bee-hives in the past. According to Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gabriela Matecna (a Slovak National Party/SNS nominee), the decrease in bee-keepers is partly caused by the arduous nature of this craft.

“We used to have more varied fields; nowadays we mainly have monoculture fields that don’t offer bees suitable forage,” said Matecna, adding that bee-keeping used to be at a high level in Slovakia.

Earlier in the day the agriculture minister came to promote Slovak honey to the pupils of Tbiliska Primary School in Bratislava as part of the ‘Honey Breakfast’ event, organised by the Slovak Bee Association and the Slovak Bee-keeper Association.

According to Matecna, Slovak honey is some of the best in the world, and this fact has been confirmed by many international awards. “I recommend that all consumers in Slovakia buy honey from local and well-known bee-keepers,” she added.

The Honey Breakfast event is aimed at offering children healthy domestic food as well as highlighting the importance of breakfast and healthy eating habits.