Photos: Yemen’s honey production a victim of war, climate crisis

by | Jul 31, 2022 | World

For Yemeni beekeeper Mohammed Saif, honey production used to be a lucrative business, but years of war and climate change have taken the buzz out of the family hives.The business, handed down from father to son, “is slowly disappearing”, said Saif. “The bees are being hit by strange phenomena. Is it due to climate change or the effects of war? We really don’t know.”
Yemen, one of the world’s most impoverished countries, has been gripped by a deadly conflict since 2014, pitting the Iran-backed Houthis against government forces supported by a Saudi-led military coalition.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in fighting or through illness and malnutrition over the past eight years, and the country’s infrastructure has been devastated.
But a fragile United Nations-brokered truce has held since April, bringing some respite to the country and its war-weary population. In the southwestern region of Taiz, Saif recently took stock of his hives in a rugged valley surrounded by mountains.
Before the war, Saif said, the family managed 300 hives. Now only 80 are left.
Experts consider Yemeni honey some of the best in the world, including the prized Royal Sidr known for its therapeutic properties.
The UN says honey plays a “vital role” in Yemen’s economy, with 100,000 households dependent on it f …

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