The Barbados Apiculture Association says the Caribbean country is poised to develop a thriving honey industry.
Association vice president Damien Hinds says he wants to see investment in the sector, The Barbados Advocate newspaper report Hinds says rather than continuing to import thousands of pounds of honey every year, Barbados can become a producer, to not only meet local needs, but perhaps to export to other countries in the Caribbean.
Barbados Agricultural Society chief executive not only agrees, he suggests not only developing a local honey industry in Barbados, but also creating specialty honey for local and overseas markets.
“We import honey right now and if we are trying to look at products that we can easily produce, honey is certainly one of those,” Paul tells the newspaper.
“If we can do it on a large enough scale, we can reduce our import bill and by extension save foreign exchange, as right now we spend almost half a million U.S. dollars bringing honey into this country.
“That is one gap we can actually plug if we use the local production of honey to reduce the need to import honey from overseas.”
Paul says the bee population on the island would have to be increased and their pollination activities would also facilitate better production of crops and help boost the local agricultural sector.
Paul says the flavor of honey depends on the type of plants that the bees pollinate.
This is where he would like to see Barbados capitalizing on the most, as it provides the opportunity to create exclusive forms of honey and give honey produced on the island more marketability in the external markets.
“We can set premium prices for honey that we can say has a different and unique taste profile,” he says. “So. all in all. I think it is an attractive industry to pursue and we already have the skills here to engage in bee rearing on a consistent basis, the need now is to get more persons on board to take it to the next level.”