Protection of the bee population

9 April 2013    
Andreas Mölzer (NI)



The EU is now focusing on the massive collapse of the bee population. Important measures to encourage bees include the environmental design of public spaces and the raising of awareness among the public. For example, it is helpful if meadows are not mown too frequently to allow them to flower. Organic farming practices avoiding the use of insecticides also play an important role in protecting bees.

1. Are initiatives to protect the bee population funded at EU level?

2. Are there any EU-wide projects aimed at raising awareness among the public of the importance of protecting bees?

6 June 2013    
Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

Measures to support the apiculture sector are funded at EU level in the framework of the single Common Market Organisation Regulation(1) (EC) No 1234/2007 and of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 on support for rural development programme(2). Several of these support measures have a positive effect on the protection of bee population.

In particular, Article 105 of the single CMO Regulation provides that Member States may draw up a triennal national apiculture programme. In line with Article 106 of this regulation, the measures eligible for aid include technical assistance to beekeepers and grouping of beekeepers, control of varroasis, rationalisation of transhumance, support for laboratories carrying out analyses of honey, restocking of hives and cooperation with specialised bodies for the implementation of applied research programmes in the field of beekeeping and apiculture products. All Member States have national apiculture programmes in place and the Union provides part financing for these apiculture programmes equivalent to 50% of the expenditure borne by Member States.

Additionnally, several general measures to promote a more sustainable agriculture are proposed in the frame of the reform of the common agricultural policy. Specific measures such as encouraging the maintenance of certain areas with melliferous plants are also discussed.

The EU has conducted and is continuing to carry out several projects in relation to the protection of bees. Several of these projects include the dissemination of information towards the public in particular through the website of the Commission(3) and scientific publications such as a book dedicated to the standardisation of research studies on bees(4).

(1)    OJ L 299,16.11.2007.
(2)    OJ L 277, 21.10.2005.