Honey in Short Supply for New Year

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - The traditional Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) practice of dipping apples in honey may be slightly more difficult this year because drought and disease affected honey production worldwide.

Britain's honey yield was halved this year after disease took out a third of the nation's hives, the British Beekeepers Association reported.

Diminished production in Argentina and Australia, two of the world's leading producers, gave rise to a 60 percent price hike in European markets, while Israelis will be paying 5 percent more for honey for the holiday table and for traditional gift baskets for friends and neighbors.

Meanwhile, Israeli virologists identified the virus that has decimated literally billions of bees worldwide, which scientists named Israeli acute paralysis virus, though it seems to have originated in Australia.

"In some of the research, we found that about 60 percent of the bees in the colonies that collapsed in the U.S. were suffering from the virus we discovered," Israeli virologist Ilan Sela said.

Other contributing factors include drought and a particular species of spiders that damage hives.

"There is a decline in production in the world," said Alon Ron, CEO of Israel's Emek Hefer honey company.

"It was a drought year and when there's no rain, there's no blossoming and no nectar. Nature is changing and we can see it in the - HONEY - harvest," he said.

Source: Haaretz

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