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Food Safety

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 and 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.

Pilot project - Environmental monitoring of pesticide use through honeybees:

Infograph

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click to view the "Bee Health" infograph

Related links

Further information

EU efforts for bee health

Bees are critically important for the environment and to the economy. It is estimated that pollinators, including honey bees, bumblebees and wild bees...

Movements between Member States and entry into the Union

For a trade in bees within the European Union, the general conditions that apply to 'other' live animals apply. These conditions are laid down in...

Pesticides and bees

Bees are critically important for the environment and to the economy. It is estimated that pollinators, including honey bees, bumblebees and wild bees...

Research projects

In recent years several research projects have been trying to shed light on the principal factors influencing bee health and into the losses in managed honey bee colonies, wild bees and other pollinators in Europe and other countries.

Small hive beetle outbreaks

Small hive beetle (Aethina tumida, SHB) infestation is compulsorily notifiable in the EU. All beekeepers who suspect that their colonies are infested...

Study on honey bee colony mortality

Bees are critically important for the environment and to the economy. It is estimated that pollinators, including honey bees, bumblebees and wild bees...

Veterinary medicines, residues

The use of veterinary medicinal products in the bee sector has to comply with the European rules on veterinary medicinal products.