Poland's bee population grows over 50 pct

Wojtek Jargiło/PAP

The number of bee colonies in Poland has grown since 2012 by 54 percent to 2,000,000, thanks to the National Beekeeping Support Programme, the deputy director of the National Support Centre for Agriculture (KOWR) has told PAP.

Marcin Wronski added that the value of bees as pollinators in the Polish ecosystem is estimated at around PLN 5 billion (EUR 1.09 billion).

The KOWR deputy director said apiculture helps to ensure global food security, a healthy natural environment, ecosystem maintenance and biodiversity.

The development of the sector's products has been aided in recent years by multiple factors including training and research, high-quality equipment, a wide range of products and support programmes, Wronski said. 

He went on to say the 'National Beekeeping Support Programme 2020-2022' is currently in operation, the sixth such programme approved by the European Commission for the apiculture market, with a budget of around EUR 33 million, half of which comes from EU funding and the remainder from the national budget. Most of the money is spent on beekeeping equipment and the fight against bee parasites and diseases.

Wronski said each year an average of around 40,000 apiarists are supported through KOWR activities, mostly on family farms.

He said the results of KOWR's actions included better quality honey and other products. The Agriculture Ministry's list of traditional products included 92 types of honey from various part of Poland, ten of which have EU traditional regional product certificates. 

"Multi-generational experience and the professional craftsmanship of Polish apiarists result in honey produced in Poland being characterised by high quality," Wronski said. 

According to data from apiary organisations, in the last five years (2017-2021), honey production in Poland has stood at between 13,000 and 22,000 tonnes a year. Despite the systematic rise in the bee population, the harvest depends primarily on the weather and the condition of bees.