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Honey lovers in Oklahoma are warned they will have to pay more for the popular, natural remedy of ills

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Honey consumers will feel the sting of higher prices for nature’s sweetest allergy-buster and cough-calmer.Honey prices last year set a record at $1.60 per pound. this year, retail prices are flying higher at $1.75 to $3.08 per pound regionally, according to the June issue of The American Bee Journal. A spot check of local bee farms indicates the price is about $3.07 to $5 per pound.

Prices are rising as beekeepers struggle to keep their bee hives thriving. Mites and pesticides have hurt bees for many years but now a strange malady called collapsed colony disorder is destroying hives.“The increase in the price of honey is good, but you’ve got to have honey to sell. Everybody’s experiencing lower numbers of bees,” said beekeeper Tommy Thornton. He plans to offset increased costs by raising the price of his Heartland Bee Farm honey by $1 per quart to $11 after the honey harvesting begins about the first week in July.Researchers are uncertain what causes the symptoms of collapsed colony disorder — an absence or low number of adult honey bees in a hive — but there’s evidence it may be caused by a nasty strain of parasitic mites.“I think the root cause is varroa mites. They will annihilate a colony in a short time,” said beekeeper Brandon George. Bee producers report sudden losses that may reach 90 percent of their hives.in two weeks, a local beekeeper lost all but 2,000 of his 13,000 hives, after the bees returned home from pollinating almonds in California. Valued about $250 per hive, the bees were decimated and the owner had lost more than $2 million worth of bee hives.The demand for honey continues to grow as scientists discover more benefits and unique qualities of honey.Honey is more effective than over-the-counter cough syrup for calming coughs, shows a 2007 study by Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine. Honey also helps with nighttime coughing, stomach aches and stomach ulcers.Studies have shown effective use of honey as a topical dressing after surgery. Tulane University studies indicate eating raw, local honey can cut allergy symptoms.“I use honey on every cut I get, every burn I get. And a tablespoon a day for my allergies. It works,” said beekeeper Randy Brady. “I’d rather use the honey than chemicals.”A tablespoon of honey taken before bedtime helps with weight loss because it speeds metabolism, according to “The Honey Revolution,” by Ron Fessenden, M.D. “Take one tablespoon of honey before you go to bed, and you’ll have the best sleep you’ve ever had,” Thornton said.“They even found a container of honey in King Tut’s tomb, heated it up and tasted it. It was still good. Honey is amazing.” News Photo Galleriesview all

<a href="http://newsok.com/customers-will-feel-sting-as-honey-prices-begin-climb/article/3573732tag:news.google.com,2005:cluster=http://newsok.com/customers-will-feel-sting-as-honey-prices-begin-climb/article/3573732Fri, 03 Jun 2011 05:11:10 GMT 00:00″>Honey lovers in Oklahoma are warned they will have to pay more for the popular, natural remedy of ills

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