Croatian Beekeepers Granted Financial Aid

By 26 February 2019

ZAGREB, February 26, 2019 - Croatian beekeepers will have 3.2 million euro annually at their disposal as part of financial assistance in the period from 2020 to 2022, according to a draft assistance scheme prepared by the agriculture ministry. The document has been put up for public consultation until 6 March.

The proposed funding for aid to apiarists and honey producers has been calculated based on their needs in the previous period and the final decision will depend on the relevant regulations which the European Commission is supposed to adopt.

The assistance scheme includes eight measures, and one of them is treatment of varroosis, the condition of a honeybee colony being infested with Varroa mites, and other diseases.

During the last three years, the number of beekeepers and hives dropped considerably.

For instance, the number of apiarists fell by 41.86% to 7,283 in 2018 compared to the state of affairs in 2015, and the number of hives was cut by 34.13% to 372,0002.

The data collected by the Croatian Bee Keepers Alliance (HPS) and other relevant authorities show that a marked number of beekeepers have a small number of colonies.

Thus, 3,024 apiarists in Croatia (41.5% of registered beekeepers) have up to 30 colonies. They can be treated as amateur apiarists.

Furthermore, every other beekeeper, that is about 4,000 of them, possesses between 31 and 150 colonies, and they have 255,251 hives, which accounts for 68.6% of the total number of hives.

There were 267 professional beekeepers (3.7%) who owned more than 150 colonies, and 64,663 hives (17.4% of the total number of hives) in 2018.

An estimated 7,440 tonnes of honey were produced in Croatia last year, as against 8,138 tonnes produced in 2017.

More news about agriculture in Croatia, especially the beekeeping sector, can be found in the Business section.