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Measures concerning the apiculture sector; Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007


Brief description of the instrument and its modus operandi

The overall goal of the programme is to improve the general conditions for the production and marketing of apiculture products in the European Union. // Six measures with specific objectives are eligible for aid and can be included in the national apiculture programmes of the Member States. // Technical assistance is designed to enhance the efficiency of production and marketing by introducing better techniques. It includes the organisation of basic courses for new entrants and continuing education for experienced beekeepers and those responsible for groupings or cooperatives; training courses relate in particular to areas such as breeding and disease prevention, collection and packaging, storage and transport of honey and marketing. Teaching apiaries and the network of beekeeping consultants/technicians allow for the dissemination of practical technical knowledge. The measure can also be used to support the modernisation of the sector through the purchase of extraction equipment by beekeepers. // The aim of varroasis prevention is to control the infestation of hives by this endemic parasite. // Support measures for carrying out analyses of honey are intended to improve the marketing of honey. Financing of analyses of honey allow beekeepers to ensure that honey put on the market meets the physico-chemical characterictics laid down in Council Directive 2001/110/EC relating to honey[6]; analyses on the botanical origin of honey provide beekeepers with precise knowledge of the honey harvested, enabling them to get a higher price for their product. The financial support for honey analysis is essential for making this service accessible to a large number of beekeepers. // The restocking of hives makes it possible to compensate for losses of bees, and therefore avoid losses of production; this can include funding activities to promote queens' production or purchasing of bee colonies. // The opportunity provided by the Regulation for including specific applied research projects for improving honey quality in the honey programmes, and dissemination of the results of such projects, can help to increase producers' knowledge on specific practices of beekeeping. Source: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/honey/programmes/index_en.htm The implementation of the international instrument in Lower Saxony is organised as follows: //All beekeepers in Lower Saxony and Bremen are eligible to apply for subsidies. However, beekeepers have to apply in cooperation with local or regional beekeeper associations. The applications are to be administrated by the Chamber of Agriculture. The grants are then allocated to the local or regional beekeeper association. // There are subsidies available which are partly co-funded by the European Union (see above) and subsidies which are solely funded by the Federal State of Lower Saxony such as the new installation of bee hives and certain breeding programs.

Which problem the instrument is supposed to solve?

Shrinking number of bee-keepers combined with the risk of a ceasing pollination activity and problems with the marketing of honey products.

Purpose or main objective / overall goal of the instrument?

To improve the conditions for the production and marketing of apiculture products and to support area wide beekeeping in order to guarantee pollination services.

Innovation content or potential of the instrument?

a) Further education of beekeeper. B) - Applied research projects. C)- Improving production and marketing conditions of d) Honey and other products.

Which laws and regulations support the implement of this instrument?

Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007; Council Regulation (EC) 797/2004; Commission Regulation (EC) No 917/2004; Directive of the Ministry of Agriculture in Lower Saxony of the 30th August 2004: “Richtlinie über die Gewährung von Zuwendungen zur Verbesserung der Erzeugungs- und Vermarktungsbedingungen für Bienenzuchterzeugnisse und Förderung der Bienenzucht und –haltung.

The initiator/promoter of the instrument?

European beekeeper associations and interest groups have articulated on a European level, that production and marketing conditions of apiculture products are insufficient

Which organizations are involved in the operationalization of the instrument?

Beekeeper associations of the Federal States of Germany are beneficiaries of the financial subsidies and responsible for the allocation of the financial subsidies to the applicants (beekeepers). // The application for subsidies has to be submitted to th

What roles do these organisation play in each of them?

The Chamber of Agriculture administrates the applications for the subsidies and informs about the current funding scheme; the associations of beekeepers inform their members and allocate the subsidies to them.

How the monitoring is ensured?

It depends on the type of subsidy. // Firstly, financial subsidies are only granted to beekeeper associations. They are responsible for the allocation to the private persons applying for the subsidy. // Secondly, beneficiaries have to keep record and have to prove the utilisation of the subsidies. // Thirdly, the Chamber of Agriculture does field surveys for a certain share of all applications depending on the type of subsidy issued.

How the compliance is ensured?

Beneficiaries not fulfilling their commitments have to return the amount of allocated subsidies plus interest rate.

How is the overall performance of the instrument?

Well, according to the expert interview, the instrument is well adopted, the number of applications continuously rises as well as the number of beekeepers in Lower Saxony and Bremen. // However the number of applications for the support of chemical analyses and breeding projects slowly increases. // Also politically this instrument is very well adopted and supported.


expert interview Chamber of Agriculture

Brief description of the context for the emergence of the instrument

Not known.

Have any of the items mentioned above changed since the instrument entered into force?



Depending on the development of the instrument and the available resources, the Ministry of Agriculture in Lower Saxony can decide and change the measures eligible for funding. At least every 5 years, changes and discussions about the measures eligible for funding are held, e.g there used to be a breeding program to improve the tolerance of bee colonies against Varroa (an external parasitic mite attacking honey bees). However the current development made it dispensable to allocate financial subsidies to this measures.

What are the main reasons or drivers behind changes mentioned?

Adaption of the instrument to the current conditions for bee-keepers.

Is there any qualitative or quantitative study of the impacts of the instrument?

Yes, please specify


Report from the Commission of the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the measures concerning the apiculture sector of Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007

Year 1997, the current funding period lasts 5 years until the end of 2015. Before 1997 subsidies were financed solely by the Federal State of Lower Saxony.
Policy area
Affected activity
Affected actors Landowner/land manager, Producer/beekeeper, Picker/harvester/hunter, Processor, Retailer
Products Honey and Bee products
Countries Germany
Regions (NUTS 2) Lower Saxony
Focus on NWFP
Document category
Instrument type
Legal status
"{{{Legal status }}}" is not in the list of possible values (Binding, Non-binding) for this property.
Geographical scope International
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