Apiary Solution to Unemployment

Pot of Honey?

Pot of Honey?

There will be about 3,200 new apiaries in Poland within four years thanks to a beekeeping project set up by researchers from Kraków University of Economics. According to Dr Lesław Piecuch, the brains behind the project, the idea is to support the development of the beekeeping sector as well as to help combat unemployment among graduates. The project will also be addressed to people aged 50+ and people with disabilities. Dr Piecuch pointed out that “the beekeeping sector is currently fragmented, many honey farms function more like a hobby.” Small apiaries with five to fifty hives comprise 90% of honeybee farms in Poland. 63% of beekeepers are aged over 50, while beekeepers under 35 years old account for only 11% of the total number. According to the project team, in cooperation with Apipol Apiary (Przedsiębiorstwo Pszczelarskie Apipol) in Brzączowice, the model honeybee farm should consist of sixty honeybee colonies. The planned and target productivity of such a model apiary is estimated at 110 kilograms of honey products per year over the next five to seven years. In total, this would amount to over 7,500 tonnes of honey a year, which is half of current Polish production. Additionally, apiaries will make other products such as royal jelly, beeswax, propolis, apitoxin, pollen and bee pollen. Beekeper candidates will receive special training before being able to set up apiaries. Those who qualify for the project will obtain government and EU grants. Dr Piecuch calculated that the cost of setting up a honeybee farm with sixty honeybee colonies will be over PLN 88,000. However, the annual income of such a farm is estimated at approximately PLN 100,000 with business costs amounting to PLN 32,000. This gives a profit of about PLN 5,000 monthly.

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