Europe increases funding for beekeepers
The European Commission has announced €120 million in funding to support the EU’s beekeeping sector over the next three years, and increase of €12 million compared to the previous period.
The funding which will be matched by Member States, will apply to national apiculture programmes between August this year and July 2022. The aim is to improve conditions for beekeeping through education, support for business start-ups and research. It aims to support the vital role that bees and beekeepers play in agriculture and the environment.
EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan commented, “Beekeeping is an important part of the EU agri-food sector, helping to keep jobs in our rural areas. Bees are also vitally important for the sustainability of our agriculture and for healthy ecosystems. Therefore it is to be welcomed that the Common Agricultural Policy, working in synergy with other key European and national funds, is now providing stronger tools to support the sector.”
Among the supported project is BEESPOKE (Benefitting Ecosystems through Evaluation of food Supplies for Pollination to Open up Knowledge for End users), which will explore ways of increasing the levels of pollinators and crop pollination at local and landscape levels. Scientists working on the project will develop bespoke seed mixes and habitat management guidelines to support the suite of pollinators required for 14 crop types across 72 demonstration sites around the North Sea region.