Beekeepers demand government subsidies ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Between 15 and 25% of Estonian beehives die every year because of exposure or excessive use of pesticides.
Between 15 and 25% of Estonian beehives die every year because of exposure or excessive use of pesticides. Source: (Pärnu Postimees/Scanpix)

Estonian beekeepers would like the new coalition to show more interest in beekeeping, and want the government to support them with 20 euros per hive beginning 2018.

“All beekeepers, including small beekeepers, should get that support,” head of the Estonian Professional Beekeepers Association, Aleksander Kilk, told BNS. There are around 45,000 to 50,000 hives in Estonia, which means that beekeepers would get additional support between €300,000 and €500,000 a year, Kilk added.

According to Kilk, the proposal has been on the table for years, but so far the state has said it lacked monetary resources to pay such support. “Now that the government has decided to pay more attention to rural life and agriculture, it is time to let beekeepers see and feel the positive attitude,” Kilk wrote in a letter to the Ministry of Rural Affairs.

The support, which neighboring countries have already implemented, would help develop Estonian beekeeping, increase its competitive ability and sustainability, and would be fair based on producers’ fair treatment principles, he said. “This support could be directed mainly at the partial compensation for winter nourishment,” Kilk said, adding that in Estonia’s climate, this was a big additional cost that beekeepers living in southern countries did not have to pay.

According to Kilk, the Estonian beekeepers are facing many problems. For instance, in recent years the perishing of hives had increased, especially during the winter. Winter losses in Estonian apiaries had risen to an average of 15-25%. “In addition, some hives perish or weaken during the summer, mainly as a result of inconsiderate and excessive use of pesticides,” he added.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

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