Terroir Coffee Blossom Honey
HONEY ON COFFEE FARMS:
The combination of apiaries and coffee fincas is not a new fad or even done to sell the honey. The truth is that coffee is the 2nd most traded commodity internationally after oil. Coffee occupies large areas of plantations and small farms throughout the tropics. Production issues range from soil fertility, agrochemicals, pests/diseases.
The scientific literature on the benefits of bee pollination for coffee is convincing. Although coffee plants are self-pollinating, bee pollination enhances quantity and quality of yield. Managed pollinators, e.g. honeybees are not usually deployed, even though shown to increase yields and produce honey while doing so. Wild bees are commoner closer to forest patches than in centers of plantations where yields are less. Coffee plants in given areas bloom together and over a short time but a problem for harvest is asynchronous ripening of berries. Hand harvesting ripe berries must take place several times. Thus, pollination would a) improve yields in quantity and quality, and b) may improve synchronicity and uniformity of fruit-set, so reducing harvesting and sorting costs. New research shows honeybee pollination can double a coffee crop’s yield.