Persons illegally importing honey into the island are being warned to desist, or face confiscation of their goods under the Beekeeping Act.
According to Reginald Peddy, Chief Apiculture Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, there has been an influx of honey being brought into the island without proper authorization, and this practice was threatening the growth of the local industry.
“We have noticed that while we are trying to develop our honey production, we have seen where there are people, who are threatening the livelihood of our beekeepers by bringing in honey from abroad to retail on the local market and this we see as a problem,” he stated.
He added that, “we have been seeing these bottled honey on the supermarket shelves and beekeepers are furious about this as it poses a threat to their livelihood not only in that it will reduce the amount of honey that they are able to sell but also it will pose a risk to the industry in terms of bee pests.”
Mr. Peddy told JIS News, that the Apiculture Unit knew the identity of the illegal importers. “We do know where it is coming from and we do know of the responsible agencies that are bringing in these,” he said.
He further advised consumers to desist from purchasing the imported honey, noting that the foreign product was neither cheaper nor of better quality than local varieties.
“As you know, anything that comes from overseas is attractive to some of our consumers, and as such, we are asking consumers not to buy these honey because they are not only threatening their own beekeeping industry but agriculture in general. If our beekeeping population is wiped out because of these imports and because of diseases, then it means that our fruits and seed production will be drastically reduced also,” he pointed out, noting that bees help in the pollination of many fruit crops.