The European Commission publishes today its report on the implementation of national beekeeping programmes benefiting from €33 million annually from the EU budget. Analysing the way Member States implement the various support measures for beekeepers within the Common Agricultural Policy framework over the years 2013 to 2015, the report shows that the number of beehives is continuously increasing in the European Union. Member States reported in total 15.7 million hives which represents 12% more than the previous programming period (2011-13).
The report also gives an insight into the structure of the apiculture sector with a higher concentration of hives per beekeepers – the number of beekeepers decreased by 4%. Small beekeepers remain however the norm in the EU with about 96% of them managing less than 150 beehives. The EU supports bee keeping through national apiculture programmes intended to improve the general conditions for the production and marketing of honey and apiculture products in the EU. This includes measures like improving bee health or technical assistance to beekeepers among other things. It gives also an overview about the distribution of the total annual budget of €33 million between the different Member States. The highest shares are used by Spain (16%), France (11%) and Romania (10%).
The support measures for the apiculture sector have been further developed within the 2013 CAP reform and include new measures for the currently ongoing programming period, in particular in relation to bee health, market monitoring and product quality for honey. It is the first time that such a comprehensive report is being published. The next one is expected again in three years' time.