EU increase support for the beekeeping sector

The European Commission has approved on 14 September the national programmes of the 27 Member States to improve the production and marketing of apiculture products for the period 2011-2013. The EU contribution to the financing of the programmes has increased by almost 25% compared to the previous period (2008-2010), from € 26 million to € 32 million per year.

The Commission has decided to increase the overall annual budget allocated for the co-financing of the national programmes for the beekeeping sector to 32 million Euro per year for 2011, 2012 and 2013, compared to the level of EU co-financing that was available during the period 2008-2010 (26 million Euro). This will increase the effectiveness of the programmes and demonstrate the proactive approach of the Commission towards resolving the problems of a highly sensitive sector.

All Member States have communicated their national beekeeping programmes to the Commission. The programmes relate to different measures: Control of varroasis, rationalisation of transhumance, support for laboratories, restocking of hives, applied research programmes and technical assistance. All 27 programmes are eligible for co-financing.

The health of the beekeeping sector is a sensitive issue given the fundamental role of bees for pollination. For several years the sector has been facing an unprecedented mortality of bees. This not only makes the economic situation difficult for beekeepers, but also poses a threat to biodiversity. The national programmes are currently the only tool available to partially offset the loss of bees. Member States have been satisfied with the benefits provided by these programmes and the positive effect of measures funded under national programmes on the sector is also widely recognized by the beekeepers.