Sangzhi county has a long history of beekeeping. According to the historical data, when the people of Sangzhi county went out to fight against Japanese pirates in Ming and Qing Dynasties, they brought tea, fried rice and honey on them. With diverse landform types and plant species, this county boasts Badagong Mountain national virgin forest and “three trees” which top the medicinal materials in the six provinces of central and southern China. There are many types of nectar plants, such as rape flower, gallnut, Chinese chestnut flower, robinia pseudoacacia, golden cypress, and mother chrysanthemum, and thousands of unknown ones. It is extremely suitable for Chinese bee breeding.
In 2020, Sangzhi county had more than 17,500 beekeepers and more than 1,200 newly developed ones. A total of 310 new business entities in the bee industry were developed, among which there were 10 companies, 1 bee breeding professional cooperative association, 2 associations, 86 cooperatives, 3 bee farms, 10 family farms, and 2,100 households with more than 50 beehives. The number of bee breeding reached 90,100 groups (beehives), with a year-on-year growth of 5 million groups (beehives). The annual output of honey was about 550 tons, with an output value of 130 million and a year-on-year decrease of 26.7%, because the honey production decreased in the second half of 2020 due to the heavy rain. However, the number of breeding was still rising steadily.
Guided by the management rules and production standards of geographical indication, Sangzhi county sped up its beekeeping industry and strengthened beekeeping training to enhance the hematopoietic function of “Sangzhi honey”. In the past few years, 21,000 people and 18,000 poor people have received training. More than 50,000 materials for beekeeping training have been distributed over the county.
Sangzhi county, a mountainous county with a forest coverage rate of 76.28%, has always treated the honey industry as an industry for precision poverty alleviation. Mainly through assistance in terms of technique and sales, the county benefited more than 15,000 poor people, with an average per capita income increase of 1,100 yuan.
Sangzhi county puts quality in the first place. “Administrative Measures for ‘Sangzhi honey’ Geographical Indication Certification in Sangzhi county” and “Administrative Measures for Bee Production in Sangzhi county” were introduced to improve the quality of “Sangzhi honey”, publicize its brand and expand its influence.
Sangzhi county regards geographical indications as the bridge to industrial upgrading. Currently, it is preparing to build a honey processing plant; 5 beekeepers traceability systems have been completed; 80,000 copies of tracking trademark in QR code were printed for the geographical indication of “Sangzhi honey”. Sangzhi county is working with beekeepers to create a new peak of “Sangzhi honey” to promote its quality and brand.