EU support for beekeeping is provided through the national apiculture programmes which aim at improving the general conditions for the production and marketing of honey and other apiculture products in the EU.
Apiculture contributes to the sustainable growth and development of the honey sector, which the EU supports through national apiculture programmes to foster the production and marketing of apiculture products. The legal basis for this support is Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products supplemented by Commission delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/1366.
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1368 sets out the detailed rules for the application of the national apiculture programmes.
EU supports beekeeping through national apiculture programmes
In the period 2017-2019 , €216 million will be spent on national apiculture programmes in the EU Member States, an increase of 9% compared to the 2014-2016 funding. Half of this will come from the EU budget and the other half from EU Member states. Allocation of EU funding for these programmes is based on the number of beehives in each EU country and is fixed in Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/1102.
Each EU Member State has access to the aid scheme by drawing up a three-year period apiculture programme detailing the measures it intends to implement and the expenditure foreseen for these measures. All EU countries will run apiculture programmes for 2017-2019. Read more on previous programmes in implementation reports: 2016 report, 2013 report.
Eight specific measures are eligible for funding:
- technical assistance: training for beekeepers and group of beekeepers, on topics such as breeding or disease prevention, extraction, storage, packaging of honey etc.;
- combating beehive invaders and diseases, particularly varroasis; varroa is an endemic parasite, weakening a bee's immune system and leading to the loss of bee colonies if not treated;
- rationalisation of transhumance: important for pollination but also for bee nutrition;
- analyses of apiculture products: honey, royal jelly, propolis, pollen and beeswax;
- restocking of hives;
- applied research;
- market monitoring;
- enhancement of product quality with a view to exploiting the potential of apiculture products on the market.