State-of-the-art amidst threats and opportunities
With increased media attention on bees and beekeeping, the relatively low costs of setting up and uniqueness as a hobby, there has been a beekeeping renaissance, in particular in urban areas. With a growing market, honey too has emerged as a vital ingredient and healthy sweetener, and not just as a natural remedy for seasonal ailments.
New markets and an increasing demand for bee products, such as pollen, propolis, royal jelly, and other supplements are keeping the sector active, but beekeepers face a number of challenges. The effects of climate change are increasingly influencing and affecting honey flows and markets across Europe. The unavailability of honey as a commodity has led to an increase in average market prices. With Europe being the world’s largest importer and consumer of honey, much of the demand is met by large imports, mainly from Asia.
Our main request is that policy-makers rethink the current agricultural model that does not support bees and other insects. In many cases, non-nectariferous cultivars or crops with very short flowering periods are preferred which reduce the pastures that can be foraged by bees.