Perhaps the greatest challenge for beekeepers is operating in an environment of increasing agri- cultural intensity negatively impacted by climate change. The landscape for bees is being driven by the dilemma of feeding a growing global population. Never before has the environment for bees become so hostile in so many parts of the world. The impact is keenly felt for beekeepers as they navi- gate issues such as pesticide and chemical use and their impact on bees. Apimondia also notes that the issue of the environment is in many ways the most challenging to solve but we must continue to strive for a better environment for our bees to exist and thrive.
The next challenge to the viability of beekeeping is that of honey fraud (adulteration) in all its various forms and declinations. Adulteration of honey (and bee products more generally) and the impact on the market it produces has lead to dysfunctional beekeeping economics in almost every corner of the world. Honey fraud threatens the basis upon which natural quality beehive products compete and sadly much of the value chain is still blind to the threats of fraudulent honey and bee prod- ucts. Apimondia will play an increasingly important role in driving solutions to honey fraud into the future as it is the voice that represents the beekeepers globally.
The mission of the Commission is to seek to collect, process and disseminate the scientific information available in order to help beekeepers at international level to enable them to adapt to new environmental constraints (honey environment, market, society) in a spirit of sustainability. Particular attention is also paid to the international legal framework in order to preserve the quality of hive products (establishment of definitions and quality criteria that make it possible to limit adulteration and ensure the harmonious development of the beekeeping sector).
We carry out consultations for the enhancement of the bee products within the framework of the norms with various organisations, such as Codex Alimentarius, ISO, WHO, FAO, FEEDM, IHC, HIPA, European Union, etc.
Prof. Miguel Vilas Boas
Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources
Polytechnic University of Bragança, Portugal
Dr Andresa Beretta
Head of Research, Development and Innovation at Apis Flora Limited