Bees want to live!

Every year, bees die en masse in Ukraine as a result of poisoning by pesticides and agrochemicals used in agriculture. According to our estimates, beekeepers lose about 46,000 bee families every spring. This year Poltava, Rivne and Chernihiv regions suffered the most.
 Currently, the Law of Ukraine "On Beekeeping" and other bylaws are not able to protect beekeepers from the death of bees, in particular in the field of safe use of plant protection products (PPP) by farmers. 
 Regulating the PPE market also does not reduce risks: 127 acts and 73 instruments for regulating pesticides and agrochemicals create a complex and confusing system for registering new drugs, leaving the shadow market for products (often substandard and harmful) up to 30%. 
 In addition, the current acts also do not sufficiently regulate the process of collecting and certifying evidence for further defense of their interests by beekeepers in court. 
 BRDO experts once again emphasize the urgent changes in the acts governing the beekeeping market. We have developed a draft order of the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture "On some issues in beekeeping." 
 This order can solve the problem of regular bee poisoning and make the beekeeper more legally protected. 
 Чому це важливо? 
 According to 2019 data, Ukraine is among the top 5 main exporters of honey with a share of 5.7% of all world stocks of this natural sweet product. However, we could safely claim leadership in the field of beekeeping, if our bees did not die so en masse. 
 Of course, only farmers cannot be blamed for bee poisoning, beekeepers' actions are also often the cause of such poisonings, and the legal unresolved issue does not contribute to either side. That is why the actions aimed at solving the problem must be comprehensive. 
 Interestingly, 98% of Ukrainian honey is produced by private farms, and only 2% - by registered businesses. The reason is simple - unfavorable conditions for official registration of beekeepers. 
 From the beginning of production to the actual sale of honey, the entrepreneur must contact the public authorities more than 26 times. The huge number of requirements and regulatory tools does not give businesses a clear understanding of the rules of conduct in the market. 
 That is why a systematic review of the quality of the regulatory field is an important step to address existing problems and simplify the conditions for agricultutral business in Ukraine. 
 What kills Ukrainian bees? 
 Most beekeepers are not informed about the planned treatments against pests of agricultural land. Everything is complicated by the situation on the market of PPE (plant protection products) - about 30% of these tools are illegal. Such chemicals are considered particularly hazardous, so there must be effective government oversight and enforcement. 
 Moreover, Ukraine still lacks a legislative mechanism for cooperation between beekeepers and farmers, and Ukrainian farmers simply do not understand that the principle of good neighborliness can bring them much more benefits. 
 To prevent the death of bees, it is necessary to establish a good neighborly procedure between beekeepers and farmers. Thanks to the good-neighborly agreement, farmers and beekeepers will be able to hear each other. This will definitely reduce the risks of bee poisoning and increase the productivity of both areas of the economy. 
 How to save bees? 
 The Office of Effective Regulation (BRDO) proposes to make it mandatory to register beekeepers with the village council, but not as entrepreneurs, but to register them to inform them about the possible use of agrochemicals harmful to apiaries. 
 It is important that this registration is simple and free and takes as little time as possible. In addition, it is proposed to simplify the form of the apiary passport, to create a single database of issued or revoked documents, and most importantly to detail the work on the prevention of bee poisoning by plant protection products. 
 Виробники меду завчасно отримуватимуть інформацію про застосування засобів захисту рослин аграріями, а також зможуть офіційно засвідчувати отримані збитки через необачність аграріїв.  
 In addition, it will bring the beekeeping industry out of the shadows. I emphasize that according to official data, Ukraine exports more honey than it produces. For example, in 2017, Ukrainian beekeepers produced 66.7 thousand tons, and the state exported 68 thousand tons. 
 This is also known to market participants, in particular the Union of Beekeepers of Ukraine, which supports our initiatives. 
 Finally, the best regulation of the market is simple and clear principles enshrined in law. 
 That is why we have prepared a draft order "On some issues in beekeeping" so that the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture will immediately take measures to save the Ukrainian beekeeping. 
 That is why we have prepared a draft order "On some issues in beekeeping" so that the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture will immediately take measures to save the Ukrainian beekeeping. 
 In particular, the order proposes: 
- to approve the Instruction on prevention of poisoning of bees by means of plant protection; 
- to approve the new form of the apiary passport and the procedure for its issuance; approve the apiary registration procedure; 
- to define as invalid the Soviet "Instruction on prevention of poisoning of bees by pesticides" from 14.06.1989. 
 We can return to Ukraine at least the third place in the world among honey-exporting countries. But Ukrainian bees must be rescued immediately. I wonder how Ukrainian IT developments help government officials in the United States and France monitor the welfare of bees there, while our bees die from mass poisoning by plant protection products after tillage. 

Last updated: 20 - Sep - 2021