Report | Organic Beekeeping Conference in Switzerland "Vitality of Bees“

Organic Beekeeping Conference in Switzerland „Vitality of Bees“, co-organized by the IFOAM Apiculture Forum

Vitality is the capacity of a being to survive long-term and by own force. Many honey bees today score badly in vitality according to this definition. Without intervention, the majority of honeybee populations in Europe (and many other world regions) may only survive than a year,  as they risk dying from disease or hunger. The most obvious and widely discussed threats to-bees are varroa mites and bee-harming pesticides. However, there are more dangers that make bees prone to diseases and limit their vitality: Malnourish-ment of bees due to the lack of diversity and flowers in modern agriculture, one-sided breeding priorities, high bee population densities in some areas that lead to spreading and re-infestation of diseases.

On 25 February 2017, FiBL organized its first Organic Beekeeping Confer-ence at the FiBL headquarters in Frick, Switzerland and co-organized by the IFOAM Apiculture Forum (IAF), other Swiss organizations. and financed by Bio Suisse.  The Conference focused on the vitality of bees and the role of organic beekeeping. Among the speakers was the professional beekeeper Günther Friedmann, who has the largest Demeter-certified bee keeping facili-ty in Germany and bee researcher Professor Jürgen Tautz, author of many books including “Phänomen Honigbiene”.

The event was co-organized by the IFOAM Apiculture Forum (IAF), a joint ini-tiative from IFOAM – Organics International, Naturland (Association of Organ-ic Agriculture), FiBL (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture), Coopsol (an Argentinian beekeeping co-operative), ECOSUR (a Mexican research institute for sustainable development), Demeter (Association for bio-dynamic agricul-ture) and APICON (a beekeeping consultancy).

IAF was established in 2015 with the aim of advancing the development of organic beekeeping and creating a platform for discussion and exchange.

In order to learn more about the IAF and get involved send a message to info [at] apiculture.ifoam.bio.