Future bleak for Suffolk honey

FEARS have been raised over the future of Suffolk honey because the appalling summer weather has led to a dramatic drop in the number of bees.

FEARS have been raised over the future of Suffolk honey because the appalling summer weather has led to a dramatic drop in the number of bees.

The annual English honey harvest has dropped to half of its normal level this year - with some beekeepers in the county seeing numbers in their apiaries drop by as much as two thirds, leading to concerns that British honey bees could be extinct within five years.

This has increased fears that English honey could disappear altogether unless the dramatic decline in bee colonies is reversed.

Roy Ramsey, who lives in Ipswich and has kept bees for more than 50 years, said the last 12 months have been the worst he has experienced.

Mr Ramsey, 73, who has 30 hives - which should each house around 50,000 bees - sells his honey to local retailers.

He said: “If things continue as they are the price of honey will go up and it will become a luxury item. There's no doubt there's a shortage. Things are happening now that haven't before - because of the weather we've had this summer it's been incredibly hard.”