COME TO THE EUROPEAN CONGRESS!

THE 8TH EUROPEAN BEEKEEPING CONGRESS – BEECOME, FROM THE 20TH TO THE 23RD OCTOBER 2022 AT THE QUIMPER EXHIBITION PARK IN THE CORNOUAILLE REGION OF BRITTANY

AN UNMISSABLE EVENT !

FRENCH AND EUROPEAN BEEKEEPING ORGANISATIONS

BETWEEN 6000 AND 8000 VISITORS EXPECTED

The European Beekeeping Congress is the flagship event for French and European beekeepers. These four days will provide an exceptional opportunity for them to meet each other, to discover new products and technology and to hear from national and European scientific bodies about the latest research into aspects of beekeeping. They will also be able to get up-to-date information about the state of the honey market or changes in current legislation.

The varroa mite first arrived during the 1980’s and despite the obvious effects of its presence and the extra vigilance that was required, beekeeping managed to survive pretty well. But in 1995, a range of neonicotinoid insecticides first appeared in France. Since then, even if these products are not the only cause, about 300,000 colonies die each year and need to be replaced.

Colony death rates have risen from 5% to 30%. Production per hive was significantly reduced resulting in the halving of the French honey harvest in 20 years. Having also to face up to environmental degradation, the arrival of the Asian Hornet, concerns about the small hive beetle, Aethina thumida, and ever changing agricultural policies, beekeeping is going through a delicate and worrying period.

 

What will its future be over the next few decades?

What does the future hold for today’s young beekeepers?

Since the beginning of the century, as beekeeping is confronted with the same difficulties in many countries, their national congresses have taken on an international dimension. During the French beekeeping congresses organised by UNAF in Mende in 2000 and 2004, in Villefranche-sur-Saône in 2008, and in Clermont in 2016, we have thus received Argentinean, Chinese and American beekeeping delegations...

But we have also welcomed beekeepers and scientists from Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Italy and Spain. In 2012 in Agen, UNAF, in collaboration with the "Abeille gasconne", organised the first European congress, which was a great success, with around 5,000 visitors, more than forty speakers and around one hundred exhibitors. Fourteen years ago, UNAF joined Apimondia and organised the 41st Apimondia Congress in Montpellier in September 2009.

After the 1st congress in Agen in 2012, there followed editions in Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Austria and Romania, and the European congress of beekeeping Beecome returns to Quimper from 15 to 20 October 2022.

This congress will perhaps be the occasion to have a vision of our future.

 

 

 

A European beekeeping congress with an environmental dimension.

For a long time, French and European beekeepers have been setting alarm bells ringing over environmental problems. The bee is in danger, many wild pollinators are already on the verge of extinction and our biodiversity is being depleted at a dizzying rate, as beekeepers unfortunately regularly observe. Climate change, which has accelerated in recent years, has led to a reduction in nectar resources for bees and to a loss of vitality in the colonies. A new problem for beekeepers.

 

Saving bees and beekeeping: a real challenge for the future

Since the Second World War, the bee has been suffering from the effects of certain phytosanitary products and in regions with large-scale intensive agriculture, its future is becoming hypothetical. In France, the number of hives is inexorably decreasing and 2000 to 3000 beekeepers cease their activity each year.

France's annual honey requirement is 40,000 tons. 15 years ago the annual French production was 30,000 tons, but now, given the multiple difficulties that bees are facing, this figure has dropped to only 15,000 tons.

Beekeeping requires a great deal of knowledge in biology, botany, geology and meteorology, as well as technical and sanitary expertise. These skills constitute a real know-how that it is important to share with as many people as possible.

Because of their exemplary complementarity, bees and flowering plants have developed in parallel and have contributed to the emergence of an exceptional biodiversity.

Today, bees pollinate 80% of the Earth's plants and more than 20,000 plants which would otherwise be threatened with extinction, are saved in Europe. In economic terms, we should remember that the impact of pollination on agricultural production is considerable in terms of turnover. By carrying out pollen analyses of honeys, it is possible to identify all the plants that have made it possible to produce them and to discover those, sometimes extremely rare, that are present in the foraging area (approximately 3 km radius around the hives). It is also possible to monitor the evolution of the flora year after year.

 

Everyone needs to act

The bee requires our urgent action on several major social issues:

  • The protection of biodiversity and the environment
  • An evolution towards sustainable agriculture
  • The relationship between town and country and man's relationship with nature
  • Well-being and health via products from the hive