Bulgarian Beekeepers Hit by Summer DroughtBusiness | October 25, 2012, Thursday // 13:32| views
Beekeepers from different parts of Bulgaria have complained that after the heavy winter they were hit by the summer drought. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Beekeepers from different parts of Bulgaria have complained that after the heavy winter they were hit by the drought.
Mladen Kotlarski, Chair of the Association of Professional Beekeepers in Bulgaria, said Thursday in an interview for investor.bg that the situation was very difficult in southern Bulgaria.
He explained that beekeepers from the districts of Shumen and Svishtov had reported output of 8kg per bee family, compared to the usual 10-12 kg.
Kotlarski added that the problem was not so serious in parts of Bulgaria which had seen rain during the summer.
He said that purchase prices of honey had remained unchanged despite the rising prices of all other products.
The Chair of the Association of Professional Beekeepers drew attention to the fact that fuels, which were a major expense for beekeepers, had reached lastingly high prices.
Kotlarski did not rule out an increase in honey prices over the next few months.
A few days ago, Bulgaria's Ministry of Agriculture and Food reported a record rate of absorption of the budget for beekeepers in 2012.
The Agriculture Ministry informed that a total of BGN 5.36 M had been absorbed under 1073 applications, or 82% of the earmarked funds.
The documents are being prepared for the new application period in 2013, which is expected to be opened in mid-November.
Representatives of the Association of Professional Beekeepers in Bulgaria, however, suggested that the money was not enough and also complained about the lack of measures to address the disappearance of bees.
Kotlarski suggested that the disappearance of bees had been recognized as a problem on a global scale, while the authorities in Bulgaria were still turning a blind eye to it.
He explained that Western Europe and the United States had developed bee preservation programs in the awareness that honey production was just a small part of the activities of bees.
Kotlarski emphasized that the European Commission regularly expanded the list of banned agricultural insecticides and pesticides which were harmful or deadly to bees.
Reminding of the indispensable role of bees in plant pollination, he reminded that Bulgarian authorities were still racking their brains on how to categorize bees to get aid for the sector from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
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