The European Commission has approved the national programmes for all 27 EU
member states to improve the production and marketing of apiculture products
for 2011-2013. The EU contribution to the financing of the programmes has
increased by almost 25% compared to the previous funding period (2008-10), from
26 million euro (21.2 million GBP) to 32 million euro (26.1 million GBP) per
year. The United Kingdom will receive 2,222,387 euro (1,814,579 GBP) of
EU funding over the three year period.
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 is also widely recognized by beekeepers.
Against this background the Commission decided to increase the overall annual
budget allocated for the co-financing of the national programmes to increase
the effectiveness of the programmes and demonstrate the proactive approach of
the Commission towards resolving the problems of a highly sensitive sector.
The national beekeeping programmes relate to different measures, such as
control of varroasis, rationalisation of transhumance, support for
laboratories, restocking of hives, applied research programmes and technical