A combination of bushfires and unusually dry weather conditions are likely to have a serious impact on the 2019 leatherwood honey harvest.
So anything that affects the trees in January and February is a threat to honey production.
This year bushfires, mainly in the southern and central parts of Tasmanian, have affected many beekeepers.
Yves Ginat, producer of the renowned Miellerie honey, has lost a significant number of his hives. It has been reported some 20 of his hives were lost to fires in the Lake Pedder area.
Tasmanian Beekeepers Association president Perter Norris, from Heritage Honey, told the ABC that production would be down 75 per cent, making it the worst season in 35 years.
“Leatherwood honey will be scarce for years to come,” he said.
Leatherwood trees are very slow growing, and don’t even begin to flower until they are at least 70 years old.
So any loss of trees to bush fires is a disaster for beekeepers.
They will take years to grow back, if ever.
Rebecca Campbell from Honey Tasmania has also recently raised the alarm, posting to Facebook that one beekeeper lost some 130 hives and many hectares of leatherwood forests were burned
She said that, as a result there will be limited amounts of leatherwood honey this year and to be prepared for price increases not just of leatherwood but of all Tasmanian honeys
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