Bees are critically important for the environment and to the economy. It is estimated that pollinators, including honey bees, bumblebees and wild bees, contribute at least 22 billion EUR each year to the European agriculture industry. They ensure pollination for over 80% of crops and wild plants in Europe. Honey bees also provide honey and other apiculture products such as pollen, wax for food processing, propolis in food technology, and royal jelly used as a dietary supplement and as an ingredient in food.
For some time now, news about a severe losses of honey bees, bumblebees, wild bees and other pollinators has been concerning various professionals and the wider public alike. The European Commission has taken important steps to diagnose and prevent bees’ mortality, including actions on certain pesticides and a comprehensive study on honey bee colony mortality.
Veterinarians snd beekeepers should follow certain rules when applying veterinary medicines to bee colonies. There are also special requirements for trade and import of live bees. The European Commission has also supported research projects related to bee health and honey.