Recent reports show that the honey production in Bihar has declined by 40% in 2020. Erratic weather is being blamed for the drastic fall.
Honey Production in India
India is an exporter of natural honey. In 2018-19, India exported over 61,000 tonnes of natural honey (worth about 732 crore INR) to various countries like USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Qatar. Bihar is the 11th largest producer of honey in India. The state has about 9,000 beekeepers.
Reasons for Drop in Production
The reduction in production is being attributed to erratic weather conditions. The abnormal temperature has caused the decreased nectar production in various plants and trees like mustards, litchis, drumsticks, etc. The reduced nectar availability has resulted in the bees collecting just enough for survival and very little for storage.
Thai Sacbrood Virus
In 1980s, the Thai Sacbrood Virus had attacked the bee colonies in South India and wiped out more than 90% of them. The virus was first observed on the Apis cerana colonies of Thailand. It is a species specific virus that can cause 100% mortality. The virus mainly kills the larvae. Apiary hygiene is the recommended method for curbing spread.