Covid-19 - Letter from Jeff Pettis - President of Apimondia
Letter sent to the Members of the European Parliament, concerning the impact of plant protection products on honeybees.
At the Apimondia General Assembly held in Montreal, Canada, on 12 September 2019, the delegates of the Apimondia Members voted to hold the 48th Apimondia Congress of 2023 in CHILE!
Speech of the closing ceremony
Dear beekeepers, scientists, exhibitors and friends of bees!
In the last few days we enjoyed attending this 46th Apimondia Congress. Over all there were here around 5.500 participants, from 134 countries. We listened to more than 320 lectures and we saw more than 360 posters. In the WBA we awarded more than 140 medals...
All this gives Apimondia Congress a special dimension. The scientific part of the Congress was very well attended and the ApiEXPO was also so interesting.
I believe you enjoyed the Congress and found many new friends, ideas, business opportunities and knowledge you will surely use in the future.
I believe that one of the important outputs from this Congress is Apimondia’s position to step in the way to protect beekeepers and consumers. We surely only want high-quality bee-products in the market, and therefore we will increase testing and even greater efforts will be dedicated to this issue in the future.
Of course, such a big event in this very nice venue, would not have been so successful without a good, so professional, and numerous team. Many thanks to the Canadian Honey Council for all the work you did, and to AIM company, the PCO of this Congress.
I would also like to express my special thanks to all the volunteers, who helped us not getting lost in this big and beautiful building and also for helping us to deal with important information during the congress. Big thank you also to the translators.
And thank you Enid Brown, for having organized the WBA, which is not an easy work indeed, and to John Hendrie who helped her. Thank you also to all the judges. Without your help it would not have been possible to organize the WBA.
I would like to congratulate all who joined the Apimondia EC. I believe that now we are stronger and that in front of us we have a bright future.
Concerning the future of beekeeping sector, the conclusion of our dedicated Round Table on this issue is to use the last developments in terms of technologies and entrants BUT with the vision of a kind of “Natural Beekeeping” preserving bees, bee products and environment.
Finally, my warmest recognition and thanks to the Executive Council members who now finish their mandates. I hope you will not forget us… We much appreciate all you have done for Apimondia and you can be sure that we will not forget you !!!!.
Today I am leaving position as acting President of Apimondia Federation to the new President Jeff Pettis. I must say that I was enjoying leading the Apimondia very much and I am even more happy to go back to my old position of Vice President. To you Jeff I wish you good luck at the new function and know that I will support you as much as possible.
Acting President of Apimondia
Note #1: "The VisitorsList company, without any connection with the International Federation Apimondia, the Canadian Honey Council and the PCO Aim, is trying to sell online a fake list of participants of the 2019 Apimondia Congress in Montreal. This listing was developed only by data mining technique and does not correspond to reality. You should know that Apimondia never sells or discloses its listing and only uses it for the purposes of promoting its Congresses and Symposia. Please ignore this offer which is completely fraudulent."
Note #2: "Election of the venue of the 2023 edition of the Apimondia congress - On Thursday 12 September 2019 during the second General Assembly of the congress, the delegates of the Apimondia Member Associations voted for Chile (Santiago) to be the venue of the Apimondia congress to be held in 2023. 120 votes were officially accredited and 66 were expressed for Chile, 53 went in favour of the other candidate Ethiopia and one was an abstention. In the announcement of the result of the voting session, in addition to the 120 eligible votes specified above, a separate set of 18 votes were announced as invalid. They were in fact voting papers or spurious notes that did not pertain to that specific voting session and were therefore disregarded and not included in the counting. The voting procedure was therefore carried out regularly and in line with the provisions of the Apimondia Statutes. Only fully paid-up Member Associations have voting rights and, if unable to attend personally, eligible Members may indicate proxies to vote on their behalf."
Apimondia’s Communication on World Beekeeping Awards
The Apimondia Congress provides a forum for the world to come together to face common challenges within the beekeeping sectors. Most of the world’s beekeepers are currently facing enormous difficulties with unsustainable prices for their products. Being a beekeeper is becoming more and more difficult with modern agribusiness and global climate change. However, it is the duty of Apimondia to constantly increase the quality of bee products, even in current quite unfavorable environments.
Apimondia is working intensely to address the problem of honey adulteration. In January 2018 the first version of the Statement on Honey Fraud was released. This Statement reflects the official position of Apimondia, and has a dynamic nature always open to improvement as new knowledge becomes available and more voices make their genuine contributions.
In this context, the Apimondia Executive Council has been focused on improving the standards for the World Beekeeping Awards. A higher standard for participation acceptance has been utilized in order to reflect Apimondia’s commitment with the increasing quality of beekeeping products. This year entrants in the honey categories have been subjected to external laboratory analysis using ISO 17025 accredited laboratories to test for honey purity, contamination with residues, and some traditional quality parameters.
The results of laboratory testing indicate to us that there is much work to do and many areas that we, as a global beekeeping community, can focus on for improvement. They also reflect an increasing pressure on beekeepers to maintain the health of their bees, which may in turn increase the risk of unintentional contamination of their products.
Honey has many special characteristics, some of which are still being discovered in many parts of the world. Whilst we face these challenging times, we in Apimondia have no choice but to meet these challenges head on, to inform, support and improve the quality of our products. Beekeepers need good knowledge, education and support globally. The World Beekeeping Awards, the Apimondia Statement on Honey Adulteration, and this Congress are part of this ongoing process to improve beekeeping and bee products.
Dr. Jeff Pettis has been elected President of Apimondia by the delegates of the Federation Members for a four-year mandate. Jeff has served as President of the Apimondia Scientific Commission for Bee Health from September 2015 to September 2019. Dr. Pettis comes from a farming background and fell in love with honey bees while taking a course in Beekeeping at the University of Georgia. He completed MS and PhD degrees in Entomology while researching parasitic mites of honey bees. He worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a research scientist for over 20 years and now consults on bee health globally since leaving USDA. He has been a beekeeper for over 35 years and now manages 75 hives with his youngest son Kevin in Salisbury, Maryland USA. He continues to work on queen health, parasitic mites and pollinator health. In his acceptance speech in Montreal he outlined his vision for Apimondia in three words, Communication, Diversity and Respect. He sees increased communication as vital to the growth of Apimondia, a need to capture the diversity of beekeepers and the different bees that are managed globally and finally, that we work to respect the bees.
The activities of Apimondia are coordinated at regional level (Continent) by the Regional Commissions. One of the major activities of the Regional Commission is analysing the needs of local beekeeping communities and co-ordinating the relief actions in case of natural disasters in their respective Regions. In the case of the African Region, Cyclone Idai is one such case where the Regional Commission President, Mr David Mukomana, formally raised the need for relief for communities in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe as part of these communities affected are engaged in beekeeping activities as their sources of livelihoods. Apimondia gave the greenlight for the assessment to be done and a report provided that will detail the nature of intervention required with the hope of engaging partners to assist in the rebuilding of the beekeeping initiatives in the affected areas.
This White Paper invites both policymakers and retailers to engage in food-systemsthinking and recognize two critical points. The first point is the symbiotic relationships and interdependence between the domestic production of authentic honey, the critical eco-sytem role of honeybees as pollinators in the United States, and the livelihoods of the managers of these honeybee pollinators –the honey producers. The second point is the destructive force of honey fraud in undermining these symbiotic activities and the resultant threat to the ecosystem.
Acting President dr. Peter Kozmus visited Pope Francis in Vatican city where the Slovenian delegation donated him a beehouse. They also thanked him for all the support he has shown to bees and beekeepers. They donated him also a slovenian cake named potica, a sparkling honey vine, Slovenian honey and a book: No bees, No life.
Apimondia, in cooperation with the FAO and the Republic of Slovenia, organized the 2nd international celebration of the World Bee Day. We organized: Raising Awareness on the Role of Bees and Pollinators in Food and Agriculture. Event is possible to see here.
On Saturday and Sunday (May 4-5), we held a meeting of the Apimondia Executive Council in Montreal. At the same time, we were acquainted with preparations for the 46th Apimondia Congress, which will be from the 8th to the 12th. September in Montreal, Canada. We also visited the convention center and made sure that the preparations were in line with expectations.