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Apimondia - Welcome to Switzerland

Alpenhorns welcomed delegates to the XXXIV Apimondia World Beekeeping Congress in Lausanne, Switzerland in August.

It was huge meeting of over 9000 people interested in bees in one way or another: bee scientists, equipment makers, bee product traders, bee breeders, but most of al beekeepers. For beekeepers, the Apimondia Congress provides the perfect excuse to think and talk about bees for five days non-stop.

It would hardly be possible for anyone to attend all the events taking place during the Apimondia Congress. Apimondia deals with the wide subject area of apiculture by dividing it into seven ‘Standing Commissions’.

These are: apitherapy, bee biology, beekeeping economy, beekeeping in developing countries, beekeeping technology, bee pathology, and melliferous flora and pollination.

Each of these Standing Commissions has its own programme, with talks and poster presentations, and discussion meetings on special topics.

In addition to these programmes there are the exhibitions from around the world, beekeeping film shows, competitions, beekeeping displays, and visits to local beekeepers.

And, of course, Bees for Development was there too. It gave us an excellent chance to meet our supporters, and for many people to find out about our work.

Most of the exhibits at the Apimondia exhibition were of high-technology equipment with correspondingly high prices labels.

Many commented that Bees for Development’s display of simple equipment provided welcome alternative oasis: the local and bark hives majestically suspended amongst our “tropical forest” attracted enquirers and great deal of attention.

Apimondia is the union of the world’s beekeeping associations. Apimondia Headquarters are in Rome, Italy, with Publishing House in Bucharest, Romania. The International Congress takes place every two years. The next Apimondia Congress will be special celebration for Apimondia’s centenary year, and will be held in Antwerp Belgium. Apimondia 1999 will be in Canada, and in 2001 the XXXVII Congress will be held in South Africa.

Each Standing Commission prepares number of resolutions. Their purpose is to serve as written record of important conclusions from the Congress. These are the Resolutions of the Standing Commission for Beekeeping in Developing Countries:

RECOMMENDATION

That this Standing Commission is henceforth given the more appropriate title of THE APIMONDIA STANDING COMMISSION FOR BEEKEEPING IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Because we are aware of the need for beekeeping development we recommend that:

1. Apimondia should focus more attention on subsistence-level beekeepers.

2. Apimondia should pay special! attention, and support should be given to sustainable beekeeping practices in forest and ecologically endangered areas.

3. Apimondia should relax the rules of admission to Apimondia for developing beekeeping associations.

4. Apimondia should encourage co-operative support between well-established and developing beekeeping associations.

5. Organising Committees should allocate exhibition space free of charge for delegates from developing countries to display their activities (non-commercial).

6. Donor organisations should support requests for beekeepers from developing countries to participate in the Apimondia Congress in Antwerp, Belgium in 1997 and future Apimondia Congresses.

7. Donor organisations take an active part in supporting information exchange on a regional level.

We want Apimondia to draw broad attention to:

A. Organisations and efforts that purposely seek to arrange fair trading possibilities especially for groups of small producers in developing regions (for example Transfair International and Max Havelaar).

B. Organisations and efforts that focus on issuing honey labels and qualifications for ecologically and socially soundly produced honey, which might apply to beekeeping in large regions in developing countries (eg tropical forests and wetlands) with traditional beekeeping practices. 

We therefore recommend that the Standing Commission for Beekeeping Economy, or the Standing Commission for Beekeeping in Rural Development, of Apimondia, invite these organisations to the specialist sessions on Bee Product Trading and Commerce at the next Apimondia Congress.

With regard to the introduction of honeybees to new areas:

Apimondia recognises the important role of indigenous honeybees for biodiversity.

Therefore:

1. We resolve that global transport of Apis (honeybees) into areas containing endemic Apis species be discouraged. We also recommend that their social, biological and monetary value be established.

2. We resolve that special emphasis be given to the Asian honeybee Apis cerana in its natural territory as an economical honey producer in that region with necessary scientific, technological and economic investigations.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NEXT CONGRESS?

Anyone may submit paper to be considered for presentation at an Apimondia Congress. For details of how to submit paper write to: APIMONDIA, Secretary General, Italy.

PLEASE NOTE: Apimondia is not a funding organisation: you need to find your own funding to participate