Bees not coping with extreme weather

EXTREME weather conditions this year have wreaked havoc on the honey industry nationwide.

The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council said this year's wet spring and hot summer would deliver the lowest national honey yields for 10 years with the annual supply falling by 50 per cent.

"It is a dire time for the honey industry with both apiarists and honey packers bracing themselves for the next 12 months," council executive director Trevor Weatherhead said.

"We have witnessed the perfect storm of negative weather conditions.

"This will no doubt make it hard for some companies to meet contracts with supermarkets and supply their full range of products."

Honey Tasmania manager Tristan Campbell said the honey season was shorter in Tasmania and apiarists across the state were averaging about 30per cent of their annual yield.

"Because we had a late spring, the clover honey season is now overlapping into our leatherwood honey season," Mr Campbell said.

"Some apiarists have had to pull up their hives part way through production in order to maximise their leatherwood yield, which is more lucrative than the clover.

"But if we have any more hot days, around 40 degrees, the leatherwood flowers will die off and we will have even less honey."

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