ORGANIC BEE-KEEPING BASED ON THE PRINCIPLES OF ORGANIC AGRICULTURE
Provided for under EU Regulations EC 834/2007 and 889/2008, the fundamentals of Organic Bee-Keeping are essentially based on the principles and precepts of positive apicultural practices (conventional bee-keeping) whilst subject to additional rules, restrictions and controls.Labelling apiculture products as “Organic” is conditional upon the quality of the environment, the way bees and beehives are managed, the conditions under which honey is harvested and processed and the conditions under which apiculture products are stored.EU Member States are expected to delimit areas banned for apiculture. The location of a bee farm is therefore one of the main criteria for the distinction between conventional and organic bee-keeping. Apiculturists are furthermore required to submit to the certification body a detailed map featuring the exact position of the bee-keeping farm as well as of the respective beehives.
Bee-keeping facilities are expected to ensure sufficient resources in nectar, honeydew, pollen and water.
The facility has to be located within several kilometres distance from industrial zones, waste disposal sites, airports, motorways as well as from non-organic culture lands whilst the apiculturist is expected to allow certification bodies direct access to the premises for on-site controls. Pine, Fir and Chestnut woods, Thyme and Heather groves – otherwise said, endemic mountain flowering species and vegetation – are recommended for Organic Apiculture.
Any artificial nurturing of the bees (syrups, dough etc.) is prohibited. Such feeding could SOLELY be permitted when survival of the bees is at stake, in which case the insects are allowed to be fed with organic honey, organic sugar or molasses.
When it comes to treating ailing bee populations, the use of allopathic, synthetic or chemical compounds or other pharmaceuticals is prohibited. The ONLY substances allowed, under such circumstances, are organic acids and essential oils.
Only natural materials are allowed for the construction of the beehives. Sterilization of the beehives, the various appliances and equipment as well as of whatever other items involved may only be effected by way of natural procedures, using such media as steam and direct flame.
Wax for new combs shall have to originate from certified organic production units. Certified products are eponymous and fully traceable, the corresponding certificate eventually ascertaining that organic culture products are conformant to specific norms and standards.