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The Research Group Apiculture
Tel: +45 58 11 33 00
Fax: +45 58 11 33 05
The Danish Beekeeper Association :
DK 4140 Borup
Tel: + 45 57 56 17 77
Fax: + 45 57 56 17 03
Homepage : http://www.biavl.dk
The Danish Beekeepers´Association (Danmarks Biavlerforening)
was founded on 5th July 1866. The preamble stated that the aim of the
organization was to work for the benefit of beekeeping and especially to
introduce the beekeeping method developed by Dzierzon.
Right from the beginning much effort was put into informing the public and educating beekeepers. The Danish Bee Journal (Tidsskrift for Biavl) has been published since the very beginning of the organization.
Much effort was devoted to advisory work too. Actually, the founder of the organization widely travelled as a beekeeping teacher in Denmark.
Things have changed. But the Danish Beekeepers´ Associations have almost retained the same organization as in the early days. Although the sentence in the preamble about Dzierzons method has been taken out, we still aim at working in the member beekeepers interests.
The organization is a Federation consisting of 86 local
beekeepers´ associations spread all over Denmark. Representatives of the local
associations elects the president and six other members of the executive body.
The president now is Mr.Verner Schou.. The executive body elects the
Vice-president and appoints the General Secretary. ( At present Mr. Asger
Søgaard Jørgensen) who works with the advisory service as well.
One main task of the organization is the editing and layout of the Danish Bee Journal. The advisory service gives advice to the members and to the public on beekeeping. The small bookshop sells guarantee seals for honey and books on beekeeping..
We have 3800 members. It is totally voluntary to be a member,
but we have around 90 % of the Danish beekeepers as members. 2% are full-time
professional beekeepers, 15% are part-time beekeepers and the rest are amateur
beekeepers. These figures reflect well the structure of the Danish beekeeping
industry. There are about 4000 beekeepers in total in Denmark. After many years
of decrease the number of members of DBA has increased slightly the last two
Beside our 82 local associations we have special groups organized under our wings: queen-bee breeders, professional beekeepers, and a group working with beekeeping development programmes in Africa, India and Vietnam..
The bees and honey
We have no solid statistics on beekeeping, but some results from questionaires. They tell us that there are about 150,000 beecolonies in Denmark. The productivity is on average 20 kg pr colony. The total production is around 2,500 tons of honey a year. Consumption is higher than 1 Kg pr. person. That means 5,000 tons a year. We have 5 million Danes. Imports of honey total 2.500 - 3000 tons a year.
The main honeys are multi flora with some dandelion, rapeseed
honey, white clover and lime tree.
In the western part of Denmark we have some heather producing a little from Calluna and Erica.
The bees was original Apis mellifera mellifera but imports from mainly Italy made the A.m.ligustica the main bee. In the recent years the Buckfast bee has been very popular and widespread.
On the Island of Læsø we still have very pure A. mellifera mellifera. There is now a reservation for these original bees.
Tidsskrift for Biavl
The Danish Bee Journal has been published since 1866. today it is published monthly in 32 pages in full colour. It is sent to all members of the organization and to subscribers, mainly in the other Scandinavian countries, Norway and Sweden, where people can read Danish quite easily.
The advisory service
Since 1968 the advisory service has been developed within the
association with employed advisors. Because of the Varroa mite we succeeded in
getting some funding from the Danish Government for supplementary advisory
service. Today we employ 3 advisors who carry out tests, arrange and run short
courses, produce advisory pamphlets, test the quality of honey and queen-bees
sold by queen-bee producers and write articles for the Danish Bee Journal and
other Danish papers.
Developing methods to fight the varroa mite is our main task. We try to develop bio-technical methods using organic acids like formic-, lactic- and oxalic-acid. Until now we have succeeded to avoid contamination of Danish honey and wax with residues of pesticides. A survey has shown that only 10 % of the beekeepers use chemical like Bayvarol. 90% of the beekeeper use the recommended methods.
The Government have for next years budget cut all funding for research, advisory service and information to beekeepers. So the future for the advisory service is uncertain.
The Danish Beekeepers Association run a number of beekeeping development projects in Gambia and Guinea Bissau in West Africa. In Tanzania and in India. Recently we are developing co-operation with the Vietnamese Beekeepers Association.
We have a close cooperation with the Danish Agricultural
Council, We have close links to the beekeepers of the other Nordic Countries
through the Nordic Bee-Council, and we are old member of Apimondia, we hosted
the Congress in Copenhagen 1954.
The organization is paid and governed by the member
beekeepers. The basic income is the membership fee (USDollars 100 per year
including subscription, advisory service and insurance for damages caused by the
bees on other peoples properties and third part coverage.
For projects we find funding from Government and EU. But the government has for the fiscal year 2004, cut all funding for research, advisory service and information. So we are just now fighting to keep our activities running.
Revised 30th June 2004
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