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Monday, March 16th, 2009 | Author:

21/01/2009 – 14:38
Shipments of the product totaled US$ 43.7 million last year. The United States were the main market and the state of São Paulo, the leading supplier.

Agência Sebrae*

Miamel Seeks Arab Buyer for Its Brazilian Honey

Brasília – Despite having been full of challenges for the Brazilian beekeeping industry, the year of 2008 ended with positive figures and record-high pricing. The industry doubled the value of its exports, totaling US$ 43.57 million, and the volume of foreign shipments grew 42% (18,270 tonnes) in comparison with 2007, when sales totalled 12.900 tonnes, with revenues of US$ 21.2 million.The higher increase in export values, when compared with volumes,

is due to the fact that the average price charged for Brazilian honey in 2008 (US$ 2.83 per kilogram) was the highest in the history of Brazilian exports. The figure surpassed the US$ 1.64 per kilogram paid for the product in 2007, and broke the record attained in 2003, which was US$ 2.36 per kilogram.The figures were taken from the survey consolidated by the analyst at the Sebrae Agribusiness

Unit and national coordinator at the Sustainable Integrated Beekeeping Network (Rede Apis), Reginaldo Resende. The reference is the Internet-Based Foreign Trade Information Analysis System (Alice-Web), of the Foreign Trade Secretariat (Secex), under the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.

The challenges faced last year include the end of the European embargo on Brazilian honey, which took place in March. As a consequence, the industry, which is the 11th largest global honey producer and ninth largest exporter, had to implement Good Practices and the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) at depots and honey stores, in addition to meeting the register requirements with the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply.


Brazilian honey packaged by US grocery store and labeled 'organic' in Nov 2008 - photo by

Despite the economic crisis, the United States was the main destination for Brazilian exports in 2008. The country answered to 73.1% of total sales, with revenues of US$ 31.84 million, considering a price of US$ 2.32 per kilogram of honey.

To Germany, Brazil sold US$ 7.188 million, i.e., 16.5% of exports, considering a price of US$ 2.66 per kilogram, way above the overall average. The third largest buyer market for Brazilian honey was Canada, which answered to 5.3% of sales (US$ 2.308 million), considering an average price of US$ 2.57 per kilogram of honey.

São Paulo was the state that exported the most, totalling US$ 13.3 million, answering alone to nearly one third (30.5%) of exports. Rio Grande do Sul ranked second (US$ 8.69 million), with approximately one fifth of the export value (19.9%). The ranking continues with Ceará in the third place (US$ 6.74 million), Piauí (US$ 4.41 million), Paraná (US$ 3.8 million), Santa Catarina (US$ 3.52 million) and Rio Grande do Norte (US$ 2.11 million).

Other states were Minas Gerais (US$ 667,130), Maranhão (US$ 187,970), Pernambuco (US$ 71,710) and Espírito Santo (US$ 181,00). The best price was the one charged by the state of Ceará: US$ 2.62 per kilogram.Biodinamic Institute certified organic honey from Brazil

Among the companies that exported to Europe, three are from Ceará, two from Santa Catarina, one from São Paulo and one from Paraná. However, only two companies from Santa Catarina answered to 71% of export value. “It is worth noting that exports to the European Union would increase, if only there were more depots accredited with the Ministry of Agriculture for exporting honey to Europe, as that market purchased good quantities and paid better prices,” says Reginaldo.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

Photo by thebeekeeper [at]

Monday, March 09th, 2009 | Author:

This blog gets a fair amount of traffic, and this commentary on “colony collapse disorder” from a well-known pollination broker in California deserves attention. Also interesting is to read what he had to say about the idea of “beekeepers receiving government subsidies” almost 10 years ago in 1999. This topic is current again in the news.



Joe Traynor

The following is distilled from the reams of disparate dispatches from the CCD front. I have tried to condense this mass of information into a coherent whole. None of what follows is original — all has been expressed in one form or another by others.

When CCD first came on the stage in 2006-2007, a number of possible causes entered the stage at, or close to, the same time:

Drought in many areas
Difficulty in controlling varroa mites
Nosema ceranae (believed to be widespread since at least 2006)
Decreased bee pasture + increased corn acreage
Chemical buildup in comb
Neonicotinoid pesticides

A good argument can be made for any one of these as the main, or sole cause of CCD; a better argument for a combination of two or more. If only one of the above had occurred, it would have been much simpler to either designate or eliminate it as the cause of CCD.

Based on field reports, CCD can devastate a given apiary in a short period of time, sweeping from one end to the other, leaving previously populous colonies with only a handful of bees and a queen. Since rapid decline of an organism (consider, as many have, a honey bee colony to be an individual organism) is typical of a pathogen, current thinking is that a pathogen, either N. ceranae or a virus (or a combination of both) is the basic cause of CCD.

If a virus causes CCD, is it a new “super” virus, or one of the known bee viruses – Kashmir, DWV, APV et al. — or perhaps a mutation of a known virus to a more virulent form? We don’t know, but assuming that a virus causes CCD allows us to speculate on remedial measures.

Consider other CCD-like problems in humans and plants:

Main Vector
W.Nile virus

In each of the above instances, the Target can withstand the Vector in the absence of the Pathogen – mosquitoes are a minor concern to us if they don’t harbor a pathogen; without a READ THE REST…

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 | Author:

Bee Truck Crashes The magic of RSS delivers news to me that I used to only get by sitting in the local diner in smalltown USA reading the local paper. But we still never know how long the online news links will last, so I’m copying this little story for the record about another “sideline” beekeeper and his need for California almond contracts. If beekeepers were to receive government subsidies, as may happen with this recent “stimulus” bill, I wonder how many beekeepers would still haul their bees all around the country for pollination services. I wonder… if they could stay at home with the reassurance of government checks (as Farm Bill subsidies provide to other agricultural activities), if California would be forced to evolve its local hive capacity to the point of keeping the migratory pollination services for the almond crop LOCAL. What would our pollinator landscape look like if we invested in local capacity building of beekeepers and pollinator maintenance? Would we still have diesel semi trucks hauling bees imported from Australia and, uh, Wyoming, USA? With peak oil now an obvious reality, it is not sustainable to rely on a struggling trucker community to bring bees everywhere? I know, I know, there isn’t enough bloom and habitat to sustain bees in many places… Well, let’s imagine a different reality. CHANGE. PLANT. SOW. -DNR

Casper Star-Tribune Online, WY – Feb 2, 2009

RANCHESTER — Clifford Reed remembers looking over the sweet clover-covered hills near Ranchester last spring and thinking, “This should be a great year for honey.”

A strong dose of reality hit Reed once mites were discovered in his bee colonies.

“I didn’t treat for mites and it cost me,” the owner of Tongue River Honey said.

He won’t make the same mistake this year.

“I had to pull off 320 dead colonies,” Reed said. “With 25,000 to 30,000 bees per hive, that’s a lot of dead bees.

“Once mites reach a certain threshold in a colony of bees, the bees just take off for greener pastures. For those bees that remain, if they catch a virus from the mites, the bee offspring turn into runty, pitiful bees with a short lifespan.”

The timing was terrible. Last year, more…

Friday, February 06th, 2009 | Author:

From Chris Heintz, Project Apis m,

To All Beekeepers -

The Governor has ordered furloughs that will result in the closing of general government operations on the first and third Friday of each month beginning February 6th, 2009, and projected to end on June 30, 2010. CDFA headquarters and field offices, including our Plant Pest Diagnostics Laboratory, will shut down operations on the days specified.

CDFA facilitates quick movement of bee colonies at border inspections by providing identification services Monday through Friday, and as deemed necessary on weekends and holidays. Due to the furloughs and inability to schedule overtime, CDFA is forced to reduce the hours of identification services to Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the weeks with a furlough day. Please note that border stations will remain open.

This new schedule may cause delays beyond our control. The Governor and CDFA are committed to do everything possible to continue to facilitate timely movement of bee colony shipments. We will relay pertinent information as it becomes available. Please visit our site
at for updates.

The 2009 scheduled closures are as follows:
February 6 and 20
March 6 and 20
April 3 and 17
May 1 and 15
June 5 and 19
July 3 and 17
August 7 and 21
September 4 and 18
October 2 and 16
November 6 and 20
December 4 and 18


Anyone have any comments about this? Relying on government for anything honey/bee related doesn’t seem to look promising. Any bee shippers have any reaction to this news?