In 2012, Ukraine produced more than 70,000 tons of honey, becoming one of the world’s largest honey producers. Per capita honey production in Ukraine reached 1.5 kg, which is the best result in the world, according to AgriEvent. In 2012, Ukraine exported 13,000 tons of the product and forecast for 2013 is around 20,000 tons.
Over the recent years Ukraine dramatically increased its honey production: between 2000 and 2012 it improved by 40 percent, reports AgriEvent. Ukraine mostly produces sunflower honey (about 50 percent of all honey produced in the country), acacia and buckwheat honey. In the first five months of 2013 Ukraine sold nearly USD 16.7 million worth of the product.
China remains the global leader in honey production with average annual volume of nearly 400,000 tons – more than a quarter of the worldwide honey production. Its competitors take up much smaller market shares, producing less than 100,000 tons per year, they include Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, the U.S., and Ukraine.
Ukrainian honey received four gold and four bronze medals at the world’s most respected conference dedicated to beekeeping and honey making – Apimondia. In 2007, the event took place in the Australian city of Melbourne, where the conference celebrated its 40th meeting. Ukraine won the largest amount of awards, including ones for best commercial honey, dry honey wine, beeswax candles, and others.
Honey is a popular food in Ukraine. It is used as a dressing and an ingredient for desserts, as well as an occasional substitute for sugar. Honey festivals often take place in the eastern European country. One of the upcoming events will take place in September 2013. Village Medenychi near Lviv will host a Honey Festival. The village took its name from the Ukrainian word for honey – med. According to the legend, a bee cluster saved the village from a Tatar attack, which was why the village was named after honey.
Notably, on September 29 – October 4, 2013, Ukraine will host the world’s top honey forum Apimondia, conjoined with Apiexpo 2013. More than 120,000 guests from 100 countries are expected at the forum.