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If you like honey, fear not the bees. -African Proverb

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Climate Change Affecting Ethiopian Rare White Honey

Climate change is affecting Ethiopian honeybee’s production of white honey.

Ethiopia is Africa’s largest producer of honey producing nearly 24 percent of Africa’s total honey production. Climate change is affecting Ethiopian honeybee’s production of white honey.



Beekeeping is an ancient tradition in Ethiopia, stretching back into the country’s early history between 3500 and 3000 B.C., according to some history books. Collecting and selling honey and other bee products produced in homes and home gardens is common throughout the country.

One of its most unique and flavorful honeys is produced in the northern part of Ethiopia high in the Mountains of Tigray. Ethiopian white honey develops its unique color and taste from a variety of native plants growing in the Tigray mountain region. White honey is growing scarce as bees abandon Ethiopia's Tigray mountain region due to drought in the region. Bees are traveling further distances in search of flowers to pollinate. Due to drought the native plants bees usually pollinate local Tigray flowers and plants producing white colored honey. However, bees are traveling further distances in search of flowers to pollinate, creating yellow colored honey.

Ethiopia is heavily dependent on agriculture; the country is faced with increasingly unpredictable rains. More than 90 percent of Ethiopia’s honey is still produced using traditional hives. Many farmers lack modern technologies, operate on a small scale, and are unaware of the quality of their product and potential markets outside of their immediate communities. Climate change will inevitably have a greater impact on people's lives. Vanishing white honey is just the beginning of the permeant changing climate of Ethiopia. 


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