agroforst 1199



5. International Organic Beekeeping Conference

Imkereitagung Florian Gerlach 350Bildquelle: Universität Hohenheim/Florian GerlachBeekeepers around the world are struggling with various negative impacts of an increasingly industrialised agriculture on bee health and honey production. Organic beekeepers are particularly affected by this, as they find less and less uncultivated or organically farmed land where to install their bees.
Against this background, scientists and beekeepers will meet at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart from 1 to 3 March for the 5th International Organic Beekeeping Conference. The conference is organised by the University of Hohenheim together with Naturland and the IFOAM Apiculture Forum. For the first time the conference will take place in Germany. In order to address both international professional beekeepers and regional hobby beekeepers, lectures will be held in German and English.

Manfred Fürst, Naturland expert for international organic beekeeping and coordinator of the IFOAM Apiculture Forum, points out the challenges organic small-scale beekeepers in many countries especially Latin America are facing. "Although there are still large, natural areas offering good sources for traditional beekeeping, we observe more and more deforestation and an increase in industrial agriculture which often goes along with the use of genetic engineering. This threatens the existence of thousands of beekeepers and their families," emphasises Fürst. The background to this is that genetically contaminated honey, even conventional one, can hardly be marketed in Europe due to a lack of consumer acceptance. Marketing as organic honey is excluded anyway. Germany is at the forefront of honey consumption, with a per capita consumption of 1,1 kilograms per year. This is why around 80 percent of the honey consumed in Germany is imported.