France offers aid to its struggling beekeepers amid farmer protests

By Thomson Reuters Feb 23, 2024 | 2:03 PM

PARIS (Reuters) – France has set aside 5 million euros ($5.41 million) to help its beekeepers, the agriculture ministry said on Friday, a group of producers that has joined protests this month by farmers over higher costs, red tape and other grievances.

French beekeepers are suffering from a buildup of stocks, foreign competition, production losses linked to climate change, and the invasive Asian hornet, an insect that can eat through an entire hive in a few hours, the ministry said in a statement.

The new money will help support the cash flow of struggling beekeepers, while the government also aims to tackle the issues beekeepers are facing, it said.

France is one of the largest producers of honey in the European Union. It has more than 71,000 beekeepers who together maintain nearly 1.4 million beehives, ministry data shows.

In January, the EU agreed to introduce harmonised methods of analysis to detect honey adulteration with sugar to limit fraudulent practices.

($1 = 0.9237 euros)

(Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout; Editing by Gareth Jones)