A European Bee Partnership, the first integrated approach of its kind in Europe, was launched last Friday 29th June at the outcome of the European Parliament’s Bee Week.
The idea of the Partnership, driven by the EFSA*, is to share across EU country borders data on bee health via a platform with input from beekeepers, farmers, NGOs, veterinarians, academia, industry, producers, and scientists, all of whom are helping guide the work of the partnership.
The head of EFSA’s Scientific Committee and Emerging Risks Unit Tobin Robinson said that the platform must benefit everyone who provides the data.
The collaboration will enable researchers offer more specific advice on how to improve bee health which in turn would ensure crop pollination and thus food safety.
The biggest pressure on bees comes from agriculture, said Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, and these pressures need to be addressed. He is of course pointing the finger at the over-use of pesticides.
The platform brings together farmers and beekeepers, encouraging them to work closely together to help improve the environment for bees. The future CAP/Common Agricultural Policy proposes a 70% increase in EU support for beekeeping: a rise from €36 million to €60 million per year for officially declared beekeepers over the next seven years. Training for beekeeping, advisory services and cooperation projects will be offered within the EU’s Rural Development programme.
*EFSA. European Food and Safety Authority
See also: Raise your own: beekeeping in France