Production in the beekeeping sector continues to decline, due to the difficult climatic conditions experienced by the Kingdom in 2022, to drop by 10% compared to 2021, impacting, in the first line, professionals in the sector.
Indeed, drought has been one of the biggest contributing factors to the decline of national honey production in 2022, causing bee colony collapse syndrome and their disappearance in all regions of Morocco.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, this is a decline of 10% compared to 2021. National production fell from 7,260 to 6,534 tonnes, despite the Green Morocco Plan which tried to increase the number of beekeepers, which reached 36,000 in 2022 and that of hives to rise to 900,000.
At the beginning of 2022, many beekeepers noticed a desertion of bees, given the lack of pollen, necessary to feed these foragers, emanating from the lack of precipitation. The phenomenon was thus examined by the National Food Safety Office (ONSSA), which investigated in collaboration with representatives of the Moroccan Interprofessional Federation of Beekeeping, whose veterinary services concluded that the bees had disappeared. nearly 36% of the hives in the various regions and provinces of the Kingdom.
However, the disappearance of the bees was not only linked to climate change but also to varroasis, a parasitic mite which clings to the insect and destroys the hives, and to the excessive and irrational use of pesticides which often threaten the forager’s immunity.
All these successive episodes have effectively contributed to the downward trend in honey production in Morocco and which does not seem about to stop, knowing that the holy month, when Moroccans use this resource the most, is fast approaching. .
Today, a group of professional organizations working in the field of beekeeping in the mountainous regions of Drâa-Tafilalet complained about the strong climatic fluctuations, in particular the heavy snowfalls, having damaged the hives of the local women’s cooperatives and beekeepers.
According to local sources, women’s cooperatives in Ouarzazate have recently suffered heavy financial losses due to heavy snowfall. Actors have thus appealed to the ministerial departments concerned to intervene in order to financially support these beekeepers to overcome these imposed challenges as well as the repercussions of this climate change.
In addition, local beekeeping cooperatives are a source of basic income for dozens of women in the mountainous areas of Ouarzazate. However, these difficult climatic conditions negatively affected the professional activity of these cooperatives, which were forced to stop all work.