About 6,800 beekeepers and 29 local associations of beekeepers who look after 250,000 bee families work in Moldova. Some 85-90% of the honey production in Moldova is exported, primarily to the EU states. As many as 5,000 tonnes of honey were exported in 2017, while in 2020 exports declined to 3,385. To survive, the beekeeping sectored needs to be supported by the state by subsidies per bee family or per kilogram of honey sold and included in accounting documents, Ion Maxim, president of the National Beekeepers Association, stated for IPN on the occasion of the fourth National Apicultural Forum that was held in Chisinau.
Ion Maxim said the temperatures, heavy rain and drought affect the state of bee families. The attestation of bio honey production is another problem faced by beekeepers. There are two attestation firms in Moldova, but one of these is not recognized in the EU, while it is recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture, while the other firm is recognized in the EU, but is not recognized in Moldova and the Ministry of Agriculture needs to make changes to normative documents.
The broad use of phytosanitary products and the lack of appropriate communication between farmers and beekeepers is another problematic aspect related to the requirements concerning bio production.
The Moldovan beekeepers comply with the conversion requirements and replace the equipment with stainless steel equipment. The state pays by 300 lei in lump sum per bee family and this is not much against the investments made by beekeepers, said Ion Maxim.
The forum was staged with support from the USAID Moldova High-Value Agriculture Project.