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Minister Cuffe announces increased funding for Honey Bee Research

Mr Ciarán Cuffe TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, today announced that up to €300,000 will be spent on a number of bee related research initiatives over the next 3 years. The Minister was speaking at the official opening of the Annual Summer Course of the Irish Federation of Beekeepers in Gormanstown College, Co. Meath.

"There have been serious falls in Honey Bee populations world wide often referred to as Colony Collapse disorder. The causes of this major threat to Honey Bees is not yet clear but healthy Honey bee populations are an important part of our food and natural ecosystems" the Minister said.  "Bee-Keepers in Ireland have been affected also by the Varroa destructor mite in particular contributing to Honey Bee losses here".

The Minister added "I am delighted that Ireland's submission for the National Apiculture Programme 2010 - 2013 was approved in Brussels at the end of last week. This programme will allow up to €300,000, co-funded between Ireland and the EU, to be spent on a number of bee related research initiatives over the next 3 years.  My officials are currently preparing a Call for Research Proposals in light of the Commission's decision to approve Ireland's programme.  We will publish that Call very shortly".

The EU Commission is putting significantly more resources into bee health and is currently in the process of establishing an EU Reference Laboratory for bee diseases. The Commission has also agreed to provide increased funding for National Apiculture Programmes due to run to 2013.


Date Released: 26 July 2010