Beekeeper. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive
In anticipation of Rosh Hashanah, the Israel Honey Council reported that this year, there has been a 14% increase in the amount of honey produced, thanks to last winter's bountiful rains, which led to large amounts of spring and summer wildflowers. This year, 100,000 honeycombs will provide 3,200 tons of high-quality honey. During the Tishrei holidays, 1,600 tons of honey will be marketed, which is about 40% of the annual demand.
On Tu Bishvat this year, KKL-JNF and the Honey Council began a joint project of planting 1.5 million nectar-providing trees and bushes, with the goal of addressing the decrease in the number of nectar-providing plants in Israel, which has caused a drop in honey production. The goal is to plant about 300,000 per year of different species of nectar-providing plants over five years, including eucalyptus, carob, jujube and others.
KKL-JNF and the Honey Council are constantly involved in identifying additional areas that are suitable for planting, while cooperating with the heads of local authorities throughout the country in order to save the bees. Herzl Avidor, CEO of the Honey Council, says that throughout the world, there is a great fear for the future of the honey industry, due to the disappearance of about a third of the world's bees. "Albert Einstein already said that four years after the bees disappear, humanity will disappear. Without bees there is no pollination, no vegetation, no animals and eventually no people."
Avidor adds: "The honey bee is critical for human beings, since it is nature's main pollinator, as it is responsible for pollinating 80% of the world's agricultural crops. The global food market enjoys a great variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, thanks to the existence of the bees. Honey bees provide raw materials for many medicines and play a significant role in the world's textile, perfume and cosmetics industries. For this reason, it is critical that all Israeli organizations and every individual should commit to planting nectar-providing plants in their gardens. Every nectar-providing plant that is planted will help provide food for the honey bees and ensure the continued existence of agriculture and food production."