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Turkey 2017
Turkish victory in Kiev (Ukraine) for Apimondia Congress 2017 in Istambul

Ukraine - Kiev - 29th September 2013 - Opening Ceremony - Speech of the President

Distinguish Officials, Dear Friends of the beekeeping world, Ladies and Gentlemen.

First of all, on behalf of Apimondia, I would like to thank the  Local Organizing Committee for all the energy and professionalism they have spent over the last four years to bring together the 43rd Apimondia International Congress. Thanks also to the government and  private sponsors who assisted with funding the event.

The growing number of participants over the last few years at Apimondia Congresses and symposia demonstrates three facts:

- despite the easy access to information  via Internet, traditional events like this one today remain indispensable;

- our Apimondia Federation, with its new policy of dialogue and direct support, is attracting  more and more new members;

- today’s beekeeping problems are so crucial that those involved are eager for the latest information, keen to discuss during our round tables and want to be heard by the maximum number of public entities.

What are these problems? Apart from local problems such as, for example, Africanized bees in America or even meeting the sanitary requirements for beekeeping installations, we can say that five fundamental problems exist:

  1. the abnormal bee mortality rates in regions where both  intensive agriculture and  beekeeping exist side by side, this is where pesticides in conjunction with disease and parasites have a negative effect on the colonies’ immune system;
  2. a troubling increase in industrial adulteration of honey, royal jelly and even pollen to a lesser degree, all of which, for our noble products contributes to keeping the sale price extremely low;
  3. stricter and stricter regulations, especially those decreed by the European Union such as the residues of alkaloids or transgenic pollens in honey make commercial exchanges more and more difficult;
  4. the constant increase in production costs is undermining beekeeping enterprises;
  5. for a great number of countries, there is a shortage of young beekeepers which presents a risk for the future of the whole beekeeping sector.

Luckily case by case, individual solutions do exist and the challenge for all of us, united under  the Apimondia umbrella, is to put them in place. The plenary sessions, the symposia and the  round tables are there to help us deal with this task.

But an Apimondia Congress is also a place of  commercial exchanges with its ApiExpo,  its prizes for the best products and the opportunity to find out about specific beekeeping practices during the  technical excursions. Ukraine, with its long and interesting beekeeping tradition,  is opening its doors to the world on the 4th and 5th October. If you haven’t already done it, please sign up to take part in these excursions!

There will be no future for beekeeping unless we gain recognition from UN organizations, public authorities, media and the general public for the work of “national interest” done by beekeepers. As beekeepers, we do more than just maintain a social network alive in the countryside,  we bring products to the marketplace that are of great dietary even therapeutic value and  we also look after the bees which pollinate 35% of our food and  a large sector of wild flora.

You dear beekeeping friends, you do a fantastic job, you are at the heart of the issue of biodiversity and Apimondia is here to help you. Make the most of this wonderful beekeeping moment in Kiev with our Ukrainian friends!  Thank you. Diakuyu. Spasiba!

Gilles RATIA

Ukraine - Kiev - 03rd October 2013 - Closing Ceremony - Speech of the President

Dear Friends,

We will remember the forty-third Apimondia Congress as a great event for all these aspects: friendly atmosphere, quality of scientific communications, a very well managed “World Beekeeping Awards”, high interest for all the round tables, remarkable presentations of our four bidders for the Congress 2017, a great ApiExpo, etc. and a huge number of participants, around 8,300 people. But this caused a “chaotic scenario” during the registration process on the first day. Even if we are not directly responsible of this, all our Apimondia Executive Council members apologize for the long queue last Sunday exacerbated by adverse weather conditions.

The local organizing committee worked hard for this Congress and you cannot imagine the sum of effort, stress and pressure you have to bear in order to achieve such a challenge. Tetyana, thank you for your energy and I would like to include your son. Thank you for your openness Yurij. I’ll let you thank your kind team later.

And now a “veiled message” to our sponsors: thank you for your support during this event and please think about future long term collaboration with our Federation. I don’t have to remind you that we have seven hundred and thirty days between two International Congresses for mutual cooperation under a win-win system.

Since Montpellier 2009, the round tables between the scientists, technicians and beekeepers have become more and more popular. It is time for these useful tools to be used for the defence of you, beekeepers, and, of course, for the protection of your bees. For this congress, each of our round tables was focused of our main and universal problems: abnormal honeybee mortality rate, adulteration of bee products, pressure of new regulations on the international market, etc. Their conclusions will be used for the elaboration in the near future, in one to three months, of an official Apimondia declaration explaining the global situation and proposing accurate instruments and suggestions in order to solve our difficulties. This document will be emailed to you, members of Apimondia, for review and then it will be sent to different UN agencies such as FAO, PNUD, UNIDO, to all the ministries of agriculture in 196 countries and to the media for the general public (and not only for beekeeping magazines). It will be an essential document for you to present to your own authorities and partners.

I don’t want to waste precious time during this closing ceremony but let me give you a few examples of its content. We will indicate that Apimondia supports 100% the EFSA proposition in terms of homologation protocol for pesticides, and wants it to be an example for the countries outside the European Union and, in the meantime, we will insist on the harmonisation of its methods. Apimondia will ask to include new topics ignored until now such as metabolites, multiple exposures, the remanence in soil, phytoremediation concerns, etc. And to go further on this issue, Apimondia will ask the certifying bodies to reconsider the impact of seed treatments, will encourage agro-eco farming, and will insist on the urgent matter of reducing conflicts of interest between scientists and decisional organizations.

In another field, closely linked to the first one, regulations covering the GMO status of honey must ensure consumer choice and consumer confidence in healthy natural bee products. Governments choosing to permit the cultivation of GMO crops must consider their impact on all bee species, the beekeeping sector and the pollination need of farmers. GMOs producing an insecticide are just another systemic pesticide delivery mechanism and therefore need to be regulated not only under GMO legislation but also under applicable pesticide regulations.

Another example of what we are going to include in the Apimondia declaration is the fact that honeybees should be considered as an indicators of the quality of the agro-ecosystem. This by the way evokes other issues such as the importance of organic beekeeping for the near future, the need for bees to be recognised as endangered species, etc., etc.

The problem and solutions for the adulteration of bee products, a topic weighing heavily on the economy of our bee farms, will be added too.

Just after my speech, our five presidents of the Apimondia Regional Commissions will develop other issues. In conclusion, you can see that Apimondia, with its quite low financial means (for the moment) is working for you. I would just like to remind you that at any time, for any subject, you are most welcome to help us with this constructive and positive process and also to suggest new ideas through our permanent working groups online.

Thank you for your attention and enjoy the last step of this congress!

Gilles RATIA

Words from the President


Apimondia is the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations and other organisations working within the apiculture sector. The Federation was founded by resolutions passed at the XIII International Apicultural Congress of 1949 in Amsterdam and is the successor to the International Apiarist Congress Secretariat founded in 1895. Apimondia exists to promote scientific, technical, ecological, social and economic apicultural development in all countries.

A major objective of APIMONDIA is to facilitate the exchange of information and discussions. This is done by organising Congresses and Symposia where beekeepers, scientist, honey-traders, agents for development, technicians and legislators meet to listen, discuss and learn from one another. There is a great need to meet the people with whom you communicate, face to face. But we must go further and apply a new strategy with audacious initiatives:

To achieve the above goals we need your support:

The President

Gilles Ratia
Le Terrier
F-24420 Coulaures - France
Tel.: +33 (0)5 53 05 91 13
Mobile: +33 (0)6 07 68 49 39
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

You can help Apimondia in its work for the protection of the bees, in advance thank you!


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