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Dec 11 2012

Honey production to exceed 46,000 tons

By Sadeq Dehqan & Farzam Vanaki Due to climate conditions and suitable precipitation, honey production will exceed 46,000 tons in the current Iranian year (started March 20), said the head of the Association of Beekeepers and Honey Producers.

In an interview with Iran Daily, Abdolreza Bigonah said the quality of Iran's honey is unique in the world because of its climatic variety, diversity of flowers, and the fact that it is a four-season country.

Iran's honey is exported to a large number of the Persian Gulf littoral states and neighboring countries including Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq, he said.

He also said that Iranian bees are also exported to the countries including Lebanon, Libya, Syria and Iraq.

In addition to honey, beekeeping industry yields other products such as royal jelly, pollen, honey wax and beehive that are exported even to the world's major honey producers and beekeepers, he added.

Bigonah said Afghanistan ranks second after Iran in terms of the quality of its honey.

He referred to Ardebil province as the cradle of honey production and the founder of beekeeping industry in Iran. "The honey produced in the province boasts of a worldwide reputation."

On the background of honey production in Iran, he said, "Previously, honey was produced traditionally using thick trees' trunks, then, due to the adjacency of the province with Russia, a modern method was introduced to the country about a century ago."

"After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the then government of Iran started importing queen bees from Germany as well as the suitable wax, which led to a boom in beekeeping industry in a few years." He said good queen bees and suitable wax are among some of the infrastructures of beekeeping industry.

"Of course later on, beekeeping industry was left on its own and unspecialized people started to make queen bees which had negative impacts on honey production and the industry."

He lauded Iran's high capacities in terms of beekeeping industry, and said if the industry is supported, it will create a large number of job opportunities.

He also said Iranian honey has numerous customers worldwide, adding, 90 percent of Europe's demand to honey is supplied from outside the continent.

"Thus by having proper planning, honey production can fetch revenues for the country." He said provinces of West Azarbaijan, Ardebil, East Azarbaijan, Gilan and Mazandaran rank first to fifth in honey production, respectively.

In some regions, Bigonah said, due to the small number of flowers or abundance of bees, the producers feed bees by sugar and water syrup which leads to the production of, though not artificial, low-quality honey.

On average, each beehive yields 12-18 kilograms of honey, he said.

© Iran Daily 2012

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