Storm Daniel Threatens Libya’s Honey Industry


The beekeeping sector in eastern Libya is facing a crisis after September’s storm Daniel wreaked havoc in the region. An estimated 2,490 beehives were wiped out in the Green Mountain area, with 87 beekeepers affected.

Abdulsalam Abdalhadi, the Head of the Beekeepers Union in the eastern region, described the catastrophe’s profound impact on the beekeeping industry, and the vegetation in the Green Mountain area. The flash floods reached locations believed to be safe, situated high above water bodies, far from the flood and wind routes.

Beekeepers across the Green Mountain have suffered substantial losses, with the city of Shahat alone registering 38 beekeepers, who lost 815 hives.

The affected beehive locations span from Derna to Al-Bayda, covering regions like Satiyah, Anbsah, the entire Sousse Valleys, As-Safsaf, Turk, Al-Arqub, Ras Al-Tarab, and Al-Mansoura.

Abdalhadi implored the authorities and the Ministry of Agriculture to “preserve what remains of the Green Mountain’s vegetation, which is the primary factor in producing high-quality local honey. ”

In eastern Libya, the distinctive feature of local honey, particularly in the Green Mountain, is the presence of diverse trees and rare plants.

One of the key factors contributing to the high-quality honey of the Green Mountain is the presence of the Shamari plant, and its fruit, known as Al-Anjur. This characteristic yields high-quality honey, such as the rare Hanoun honey, found only in Libya.

In the wake of storm Daniel striking northeastern Libya on 10 September, the city of Derna experienced catastrophic flooding, resulting in a significant humanitarian crisis. The IOM has been actively involved in relief efforts, distributing non-food items to nearly 3,000 migrants affected by the floods. However, the scale of the disaster is immense, with reports indicating that more than 30,000 people have been displaced.

The flooding in Derna has led to a staggering death toll, with conflicting reports on the exact numbers. The Libyan Red Crescent reported that 11,300 people died in Derna alone, while the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 4,345 deaths and more than 8,500 missing as of 12 October. The UN system has responded by providing aid and deploying a disaster assessment team to support government response and relief operations.

The IOM has called for an immediate scale-up of donor funding, estimating a need for $22 million dollars, to urgently accelerate early recovery efforts in the areas devastated by the storm. As of the latest reports, only about 30% of this required funding has been secured. The flooding has affected several cities, including Benghazi, Al-Bayda, Marisa, Susa, and Derna, with Derna being particularly hard-hit. Authorities in eastern Libya are eager to rebuild the town as swiftly as possible, after the flood destroyed an estimated 20% of the port city.

In the six weeks following the floods, humanitarian partners have reached 164,000 people with assistance, but the long-term recovery process is expected to be challenging. The flooding, marked by the breaching of two dams in heavy rains, underscores the vulnerability of infrastructure in Libya and the profound impact of extreme weather events, which are exacerbated by climate change.