A senior Iranian agriculture ministry official says the country has become the fourth-largest producer of honey in the world while maintaining the same global position in the total number of bee colonies.
Farhad Moshir Ghaffari, who leads Iran’s nationwide beekeeping program, said on Wednesday that total honey output in the country had reached 112,500 metric tons over the past calendar year ending March 2020, an increase of 24 percent year on year.
Moshir Ghaffari said the number of bee colonies in Iran had also increased to top 10.6 million in 98,000 bee farms in October 2019.
Iranian beekeepers harvest an average of 11 kilograms of honey from each hive, he said, adding that Iran’s output of other bee-related products had also increased over the past calendar year, with beeswax reaching 2,220 tons, propolis- or bee glue used to build hives – at 124 tons and pollen topping 285 tons.
The official said Iran’s ministry of agriculture will continue to implement programs that would both help beekeepers increase their output while contributing to better yields for other crops through using pollinating bees in orchards and farms.
“We are ready … to station a significant number of beehives in some agricultural and orchard lands as part of a pilot scheme,” said Moshir Ghaffari, adding that bee pollination has been proven as a major factor in boosting crop yield, especially in oilseed farming.
Farming continued to grow in Iran for a second fiscal year in a row in March as government said the sector had expanded by more than nine percent.
The growth has been mainly a result of better weather conditions as well as government’s efforts to help increase exports of agrifood from the country.