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Apimondia the XXXVI international beekeeping congress

September 1999 was the date, Vancouver Canada the venue, for the biannual phenomenon that is the Apimondia Congress.  

Stringent planning and attention to detail by the Local Organising Committee meant that the Congress ran as smoothly as Niagara Falls. The Congress took place in the huge, spectacularly- situated Vancouver Convention Centre. This provides a fantastic arena for Api-Expo (the Congress trade display) and halls for all the dozens of sessions, meetings and symposia that took place. Apimondia Congresses are the venue for meeting apicultural scientists and practitioners from every part of the world.

During the week three separate sessions concerning Beekeeping for Rural Development took place. These covered many aspects of our areas of interest and brought together old and new friends to share experiences. 

Many more informal, but just as important discussions took place during the week at the Alternative Bee Space within Api-Expo. Materials explaining beekeeping from around the world attracted people away from the shiny stainless steel equipment. Here they listened to the news from B&D correspondents and delegates talking about rural development, and how beekeeping is working in some of the poorest parts of the world. 

New faces  

This year saw the retirement of the Apimondia President, Professor Raymond Borneck from France after 15 years in office. We wish Professor Borneck a "happy retirement"! 

Congratulations to Mr Asger J0rgensen from Denmark who now steps into the "hot seat" as Apimondia President

Future plans 

In two years' time the Apimondia Congress will take place in Durban, South Africa. To prepare for this meeting a Working Group within the Apimondia Standing Commission for Rural Development has been established to co-ordinate preparations and material for presentation. The Working Group will use Bees for Development's network for dissemination of information. We want the next Congress to focus on beekeeping as a way to stop poverty. Sessions will cover extension and training, and beekeeping in the African continent, and there will be plenty of opportunity for fresh information input for people new to the field.

So you want to take part?  

You cannot begin too early to seek funding for your own attendance at these Congresses. Make your interest known in good time to the Congress Organisers (see Look Ahead for contact addresses), and make sure you stick to deadlines for submission of papers and early registration dates. Once you have a paper accepted for presentation, you have a better chance of funding from local donors. Apimondia and Bees for Development do not have funding resources.


There are many categories of medals and awards at Apimondia Congresses. Congratulations to all this year's winners. We are pleased to relate that at this Congress the Alternative Bee Space organised by Bees for Development received a High Commendation. 

Bees for Development acknowledges: CIDA (Canada), IDRC (Canada), Apimondia Local Organising Committee (Canada), Api Promo-GTZ, (Germany), Cera Rica Noda Co Ltd Japan), Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Co-operation, CTA (The Netherlands), International Foundation for Science (Sweden), Tobago Apicultural Society, E H Thorne (Beehives) Ltd (United Kingdom), Freeman & Harding Ltd (United Kingdom), and The Commonwealth Foundation (United Kingdom).

Support from these organisations enabled the participation of people from developing countries, the Alternative Bee Space display, and a reception for Beekeeping for Rural Development on the first evening of the Congress. Bees for Development would like to express sincere thanks for this support.

Explanation please

Apimondia is the World Federation of Beekeepers' Associations. The headquarters of the General Secretariat is in Rome, Italy and a printing house is in Bucharest, Romania. Every two years Apimondia convenes the International Beekeeping Congress held in a different country each time. In 200I the venue is South Africa and 2003 in Slovenia. Look Ahead in B&D brings you up-to-date information about all international meetings related to beekeeping and development.