Meeting with Beekeepers: ‘Georgian Bee is Unique, Georgian Honey Demand is Rising Every Year, Compared to Quality of New Zealand Honey’
President Salome Zourabichvili met with small business owners in Golaskuri, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, and was briefed on honey-producing in the region.
Aleko Papava, chairman of the Georgian Beekeepers' Association, introduced the President on current challenges facing beekeepers and honey-makers in Georgia and asked her support in promoting and popularizing Georgian honey.
As Mr. Papava stated, at this stage, the Georgian Beekeepers' Association brings together ten association and three companies in which more than 4,000 beekeepers are joined. “Beekeeping has a long tradition and history in Georgia. Honey-producing dates back about 7,000 years in Georgia based on archeological evidence. Species of Georgian bees have become unique thanks to Georgia’s complex climate and floral diversity.
“Georgia produces natural honey, including acacia, lime, chestnut, alpine, and the wild honey Jara,” said Mr. Papava. According to him, the key problem of today’s beekeepers is to sell honey on the local market, the lack of appropriate laboratory testing of honey samples, and shortage of veterinaries. According to Mr. Papava, Georgian beekeepers express high readiness to enter the European Union market, although laboratory examination of honey remains too expensive. Testing for a single sample abroad costs around GEL 3,000, but responses over test samples prove that demand for Georgian honey is rising annually and can be compared by its quality to New Zealand Honey.