Institute of Agricultural Economics and Development, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science
China Agriculture Research System (CARS-44-KXJ18).
As an important part of modern agriculture, beekeeping has advantages of less investment, rapid economic returns, no occupation of farmland, and no pollution. Bee pollination can greatly improve the yield and quality of crops and promote the healthy, green, and high-quality development of agriculture. Based on a fixed observation point data, a honey price survey of economic research team of National Bee Industry System of Ministry of Agriculture, the UN Comtrade trade data, and some case studies, this paper analyzed the production mode, layout, and characteristics of the beekeeping industry in China. Results show that the scale of beekeeping in fixed sites is smaller with low input costs, while migratory beekeeping transports up to 1.5×104 km per year and gets the highest income per hive. Specialization, mechanization and organization are the main factors to promote the scale of bee farmers to raise steadily in recent years. This paper also identified some challenges faced by the beekeeping industry in China, including sharp fall of exporting profits, combined risks of technical constrain and unpredictable market rice of high-quality bee products, and lack of the mechanism of paid pollination service for crops. Therefore, the orientation of the beekeeping industry is to give a full play to the key role of beekeeping in the green, ecological and high-quality development of agriculture to maximize agricultural and rural economy and social welfare. This paper also provides the following policy suggestions: to explore the coupling development mode of the beekeeping industry and the crop production to enhance its externality, to launch supporting policy to improve technology of professional beekeepers, and to push building up “high quality with high price system” by standard classification to improve its internal efficiency.