Leatherwood honey shortages looming

Shortages of Australia's finest and rarest honey - leatherwood honey - are almost certain to be felt later this year.

Thats because this years harvest in Tasmania has been the worst in at least 35 years.

Leatherwood trees only grow in Tasmania and this year their rainforest range in the western wilderness was unusually dry. This meant little flowering and virtually no nectar for the bees to collect.

Even worse, wild bush fires burnt precious leatherwood stands in the south and south west. And because the leatherwoods take many, many yars to grow back ( not even flowering until they are 75 years old), the losses are all the more serious and the impact all the more certain long-term.

As the ABC Radio's Tasmanian Country Edition reported last week, a crisis meeting of Tasmania's Beekeepers Association in Launceston was buoyed by news of government financial assistance.

But even so, some of the states largest apiaries are already suffering, restricting honey supplies, laying off workers, and wondering thow they'll survive.

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