Local honey and bee products play a special role in increasing the share of Azerbaijan’s non-oil exports in the country’s foreign trade.
In 2018, as many as 4,993.9 tons of honey, 98.6 tons of beeswax, 9.9 tons of propolis, 7.7 tons of pollen and 400.8 kilograms of bee milk were obtained from 501,000 bee colonies in 30,474 beekeeping farms in Azerbaijan, Trend reports.
The average price of one kilogram of honey was 20.6 manats ($12.12), beeswax – 14.2 manats ($ 8.36), propolis – 118.4 manats ($ 69.67), pollen – 71.1 manats ($ 41.84), and one gram of bee milk- 4.6 manats ($ 2.71).
Last year, Azerbaijan exported 8.3 tons of honey worth $ 71,500, which is 1.8 tons more than in the previous year. In particular, 96.4 percent of exported honey accounted for Japan.
In the 10 years following the adoption of the Law on Beekeeping, honey production increased 3.5 times, and the number of bee colonies per average for each beekeeping farm increased from 11.1 to 16.4.
New methods will be implemented to increase honey production in Azerbaijan.
Productivity is expected to double as a result of the installation of mobile bee pavilions, which will be acquired for farmers in the framework of the “Project to strengthen the competitiveness of agriculture”. The use of new methods will result in 28 instead of 15 kilograms of honey from each hive.
Beekeepers have been recently granted a subsidy of 10 manats ($ 5.88) for each beehive for the five years according to the Azerbaijani President’s order “On stimulating the development of beekeeping in Azerbaijan” dated March 5, 2018. The aim was to stimulate the development of beekeeping in the country, to support small businesses and to employ in individuals and legal entities engaged in beekeeping in rural areas.
It is no coincidence that the number of bee colonies increased by 229,300, and the production of honey – by 1950.8 tons in 2018 compared to the previous year.
The rich climate of subtropics, the riotous diversity of flora and the valuable qualities of local bees – these are the favorable natural conditions of Azerbaijan, which contributed to the maintenance of the centuries-old tradition of beekeeping in Transcaucasia.
During the excavation in The Azokh Cave, where one of the most ancient settlements of the primitive man was discovered, a bowl with the bee depicted on it was found, which once again proves that beekeeping has deep roots in Azerbaijan.
Honey is used in the treatment of many diseases in folk medicine as well as in our daily lives.
Currently, Azerbaijan is doing its best to contribute to the rehabilitation and further development of beekeeping by creating favorable conditions for beekeepers. Climatic conditions and rich vegetation are the main factors that contribute to the development of beekeeping in our country.
There are about 600 species of honey plants in Azerbaijan, of which almost 200, as a source of nectar and pollen, create even greater natural opportunities for the expansion of beekeeping.
Annual honey production in the republic is 3,000 tons, and honey consumption is 5,000 tons. Most of bee families are located in Zagatala (17,097), Astara (12,429), Gakh (9,125), Lerik (8,669) and Balakan (8,581).
In 2018, 3,000 tons of honey were produced in Azerbaijan. Moreover, 65-70 percent of the country’s population is provided with honey produced in the country.
The number of bee colonies increased in 2018 compared to 2017. According to the available data, there were 300,000 bee colonies in Azerbaijan. However, presently, there are 400,000 bee colonies and grants have been given for the maintenance of 270,000 of them. It is expected that the number of colonies will reach 500,000-600,000.
On average, each bee colony gives up to ten kilograms of honey. If certain measures are carried out, volume of honey from each bee colony can be increased up to 25-30 kilograms.
Presently, about 6,000 people are engaged in beekeeping in Azerbaijan.