Europe - the heart of world beekeeping
The biggest beekeeping event of the year is behind us. On the 20th and 21st of November in Krakow, Poland, the 8th European Beekeeping Conference took place. Having its beginning in 2012, so far, it has been organized only stationary in European countries.
Due to the current epidemiological situation, the congress has gained a completely new online format, thanks to which beekeeping enthusiasts from all over the world could join the event.
8. BEECOME European Beekeeping Conference 2021 ONLINE
Beecome is not only an initiative to combine the world of science and practice, but also an opportunity to present your own beekeeping activity during the International Trade Fair. It was the virtual stands that turned out to be the biggest challenge for LYSON, the official partner of this year's edition. However, despite many new technological solutions for the world beekeeping, the statistics after this year's Beecome Congress are unanimous. Beecome 2021 ONLINE is an international success story.
As summed up by the event itself, the founders of the Beecome initiative and the representatives of Apimondia, this year's meeting gave the world beekeeping a completely new direction. Over 90 countries registered for the 8th European Beekeeping Conference BEECOME 2021 ONLINE. Among them, the biggest part were beekeepers from Poland, the first time host of the congress. Just after Poland, the Beecome 2021 ONLINE had the biggest audience in Russia, France, Belgium, Great Britain and also in the United States, where the time zone difference turned out not to be a problem at all.
Taking into account that the conference, of which LYSON was an official partner this year, turned out to be the first of its kind in the history of world beekeeping, we can consider the past event to be another success of our country on the international arena. Both the lectures themselves, conducted by 13 world-class experts, as well as the parallel International Beekeeping Fair ONLINE, have gained an impressive response over the last weeks. The event continues to receive positive feedback from both the beekeeping professionals and the representatives of the world of science.
- For me personally it is a great success. I remember that at the very beginning, when we were talking about organizing Beecome this year, Tomasz and I proposed that we do this type of congress, but this time in a new format. We wondered if this could be something that would give us some prospects for innovations. I think this is an opportunity for an International Congress to emerge from the European Congress. A Congress which will also be about what is happening in Europe. A congress which will show how high the quality of European beekeeping is.
Therefore, I am very glad that we managed to take advantage of this opportunity and transform the previous conferences into such a wonderful event. I think that at the next Beecome, we will continue to use IT, video and new technologies, and everyone around the world, all over Europe, will be able to support us in this endeavour - summed up this year's meeting Etienne Bruneau, the founder of the Beecome initiative.
- On behalf of Polish beekeepers, I can say that we are proud that such an event took place in Poland and that it turned out so well - said Zbigniew Kołtowski, the Vice President of the Polish Beekeeping Association, during one of the discussion panels.
Between 8 Beecome congresses held so far, definitely the Polish edition will stay in the memory of beekeepers from all over the world for a long time. We already know that the next events of this type will be strongly influenced by this year's project broadcasted from Cracow. Thus, Poland marks its great contribution to the development of the world's beekeeping, becoming a part of its history.
Towards real bee welfare - a joint effort of science and practice
This was the keynote of the European Beecome Congress held on 20 and 21 November. Among the speakers were: Dr. Peter Kozmus, Prof. Dr. Martin Giurfa, Lotta Fabricius, Linde Morawetz, Dr. Fani Hatjina, Dr. Małgorzata Bieńkowska, Dr. Piotr Mędrzycki , Prof. Aulo Manino, Dr. Piotr Semkiw, M.Sc. Andrzej Bober, MD, Dariusz Gerula, MD, as well as Etienne Bruneau - one of the three founders of the Beecome initiative and Dr. vet. Anna Gajda, who not only gave a lecture on bee diseases in relation to climate change, but also, alongside Mariusz Opoka, conducted the entire conference from a studio in Krakow. As Małgorzata Bieńkowska, PhD, pointed out, the November meeting turned out to be an excellent opportunity for dialogue between the world of science and practice.
- Please note how many beekeepers were able to take part in this event. It is not always possible for us beekeepers, to participate in such meetings with so many lecturers - and from all over Europe. As far as I know, among our listeners, there were also people from outside Europe. Therefore, the scope of this event was really huge. That is why I think it is worth organising such meetings. I think that we, as academics, are very pleased that we were able to pass on some knowledge to all those who took part in this meeting. I hope that we will meet more than once in the future in this form - said Małgorzata Bieńkowska on behalf of the world of science and Beecome lecturers.
The conference, simultaneously translated into Polish, French, English and Russian, met with interest of beekeeping enthusiasts not only from Europe - as it was suggested by the founders at the very beginning - but this time, it gained listeners from all over the world. Despite the time difference, the statistics show that among the participants there were also those from North America, Asia or Africa. This is another great success for Beecome 2021 ONLINE. This only proves that the programme of lectures prepared by the organisers or the technological possibilities themselves were attractive enough to encourage people from countries outside Europe to participate in the conference. Each of the two days of the conference lasted about 7-8 hours, during which there were 6 half-hour lectures.
During the presentations, participants were able to ask questions to the experts in the chat room all the time, and the most interesting ones were read out in the live studio. Both, the first and the second day of the conference was concluded with the discussion panel with the participation of, among others, Tomasz Łysoń - the President of the Lyson Beekeeping Company, Robert Chlebo - the President of Apimondia for the European Commission, Zbigniew Kołtowski - the Vice President of the Polish Beekeeping Association, Małgorzata Bieńkowska and Tomasz Kammel - a TV journalist. As Etienne Bruneau summed up at the end of the conference, due to the success of this year’s conference, in the following years Beecome will stop being labelled as the European Congress and will gain the name of an international one, thus going beyond the continent borders after many years of its activity.
- Let us not be afraid to communicate with the scientific world. This is very important. In the current situation, we can only meet virtually. On the one hand, this is difficult, but on the other, it is an opportunity for development. The proof of that is the fact that so many people from different parts of Europe and the whole world are listening to us today - emphasized Tomasz Łysoń, the president of the Lyson Beekeeping Company, which is the official partner of the 8th European Beekeeping Conference Beecome 2021 ONLINE.
For the first time ever, the Beecome conference was conducted entirely online. This was the biggest challenge, for both participants and sponsors. Among the exhibitors, there were 12 companies willing to present their products and services by means of virtual stands, the so-called showrooms. Although, at the very beginning, the notion of a virtual exhibition of beekeeping equipment seemed to be completely inconceivable for the participants from all over the world, during the two-day event, both the beekeepers and the sponsors found their way around this new reality.
The participants, while visiting the virtual stands, had a chance to get acquainted with the offer of the exhibitors, to get to know the latest solutions applied in the production of the beekeeping equipment, to exchange the observations on the assortment among the other visitors of the showrooms as well as to arrange a private video meeting with the sales representatives of the individual companies. This modern solution allowed the international beekeeping companies to reach customers from all over the world and the intuitive and easy navigation of the online stand raised interest of even the biggest fans of the virtual space.
The brand new format of the Beecome Congress has met with a very enthusiastic reception among beekeepers from all over the world. Although forced upon us by limitations caused by the current pandemic, this year's conference turned out to go far beyond the set standards of beekeeping meetings. The Polish edition proves that among the lovers of beekeeping there are no boundaries or language barriers when we all speak the language of bee care and the only thing we share is a passion and the will to change it for the better.
The conference will be fully translated into Polish, English, Russian and French
The Beekeeping Company Tomasz Łysoń, which is the official partner of the 8th European Beekeeping Conference, cordially invites you to the first such international beekeeping event BEECOME 2021.
virtual stands Full HD quality
The European Beekeeping Congress BEECOME is one of the biggest events of the European beekeeping industry, appreciated for years by the leading authorities in the field of beekeeping. This year's partner of the Beecome Congress is the company LYSON - one of the largest manufacturers of modern beekeeping equipment, representing Polish beekeeping, which has a significant place in the European apiary market. The Beecome 2021 conference is an excellent opportunity to share experience and knowledge among the most qualified scientists, beekeeping associations, veterinarian representatives and beekeeping organizations from all over the world.
The initiative was established in 2012 in France as a response to the still growing interest in the beekeeping economy. The founders of the European Beekeeping Congress BEECOME are: Henri Clement – president of the Union Nationale de l'Apiculture Française (UNAF), Etienne Bruneau - Centre Apicole de recherche et Information (CARI) and Karl-Rainer Koch - European Professional Beekeeper Association (EPBA).
So far, the conference has taken place in France, Romania, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Italy and Austria, where it has met with considerable interest, not only from bee breeders but also from local and foreign media. Each time the conference programme was adapted to current problems of the European beekeeping economy. The topics which were discussed so far included: falsification of bee products, the use of pesticides and other problems related to the intensive agriculture, integration of pollinators as a control tool, protection of local breeds of bees, bee products – the key to health – Api-nutrition, Varroa destructor and other risks in the bee yard.
Due to the current pandemic situation in the world, the organisation of the European Beekeeping Congress BEECOME will be modernised in terms of guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO). This time, the conference will not be accompanied by the exhibition of beekeeping equipment, and lectures will take place online, providing all participants with safety requirements. International experts’ lectures will be simultaneously translated into English, Polish, French and Russian. Everything will be broadcast with the use of professional emission equipment from a studio specially prepared for this purpose.
The educational staff will include international beekeeping authorities who will present seperate problems and issues related to the European beekeeping market during individual symposia. 12 planned lectures via internet connections will be enriched with additional discussion club aimed at exchanging information and experience between participants of conference. Since BEECOME is also an initiative to promote businesses and institutions in the field of beekeeping, showrooms for companies will be available during the event, so that each of participants of the congress will have the opportunity to present their own activity and the latest beekeeping equipment. This procedure is aimed at the possibility of popularising offers of relevant enterprises in exchange for the foregoing presentation of the product range during previously organised fairs and stationary exhibitions.
This year the official partner of BEECOME 2021 is Przedsiębiorstwo Pszczelarskie Tomasz Łysoń Sp. z o.o. Sp. K. which occupies the position of a world leader in the production of beekeeping equipment with distribution in over 70 countries. The company has been awarded many times for its activity and innovative projects in many prestigious competitions. During the Apimondia itself, it was awarded a total of 10 medals. As a brand with over 25 years of experience, it has extensive background in organising all kinds of industry events, including webinars chaired via an internet platform.
The organisation of the BEECOME event is another operation for the company aimed at developing its activities with new projects. Thereby the European Beekeeping Congress on November 2021 is also an opportunity to promote our country on the international arena of the beekeeping market. It has an exceptional significance during Poland’s current efforts to organise Apimondia 2025 in the country, in which the Łysoń company also actively participates. It is a multi-annual experience on the foreign market that guarantees the quality of operations undertaken by beekeeping company, perfectly adapted to international relations.
FOUNDERS OF THE EUROPEAN BEEKEEPING CONGRESS ABOUT THE BEECOME INITIATIVE
- Where did the idea to organise the European Beekeeping Congress BEECOME come from?
Henri Clement: The idea came from discussions between me, Etienne and Karl at the 2011 Apimondia in Argentina.
Etienne Bruneau: The idea of organising the European Congress is not so new. CARI had already organised the congress about European beekeeping in 2003. However, it was only ten years later that the congress was established under the patronage of several European structures and it was UNAF, represented by Henri Clément, which organised the first edition in Agen.
- What are main goals and establishments of the BEECOME initiative, which you started in 2012?
Karl-Rainer Koch: We wanted the European Congress BEECOME to motivate to jointly face problems of European beekeepers and consequently by means of joint forces – to find solutions for them.
Etienne Bruneau: The main goal of the congress is to make European beekeepers aware that problems they face are common for many other beekeepers in Europe and that some of them have solutions which can be borrowed to their countries. It is also intended to encourage to exchange experience and ideas between different countries, and to make people aware that the more we speak in the world, the more we are heard.
Henri Clement: The BEECOME Congress is primarily about better protection of beekeepers at the European level by enabling them to meet and discuss various topics. A common search for solutions to current problems is a guarantee of a stronger beekeeping economy around the world.
- How do you remember the first BEECOME conference in France in 2012?
Henri Clement: The first edition of BEECOME in Agen, in France, was a great success.
Etienne Bruneau: Our main concern was whether this more Europe-oriented approach would reach and mobilise beekeepers and, above all, attract them from other countries, which would extend BEECOME’s activities to an even greater extent.
Karl-Rainer Koch: It was a surprising success that we happily continued on subsequent congresses.
- Do you have any particular memories of the conferences organised so far? Or maybe are there some particular countries that you remember well?
Karl-Rainer Koch: Each of the countries, which was visited, was unique in its own special way.
Etienne Bruneau: Each BEECOME has brought its own surprises and reasons to be proud of. It is amazing to see the tone of each country that makes this event unique. Thanks to the congress in Italy, we managed to renew the entire policy of fighting against small hive beetle with recommendations that meet European beekeepers’s expectations. In Sweden, it was the discovery of a northern country, its dynamism and unusual organisational sense. Romania is exceptionally cordial and hospitable.
Henri Clement: BEECOME has always been emotional. Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Romania… It will be a great pleasure for us to meet again.
- Will the ongoing pandemic and international restrictions have a significant impact on the upcoming BEECOME event?
Henri Clement: It is difficult to predict, therefore we have moved the BEECOME congress in Quimper to 2022. We believe that the current situation will eventually improve and we will be able to rely on a direct meeting. However, this does not exclude video conference.
Etienne Bruneau: Today’s pandemic has forced us to review and adapt the BEECOME formula again. Perhaps big conferences where everyone gets together belong to the past. As we can see current possibilities offered by virtual tools, we can be sure that no congresses will take place without the possibility of participation in them by teleconference. This year’s choice was not possible so organisers intend to initiate a formula for which bounds no longer exist. Let’s hope, however, that in 2022 we will be able to reach for a formula which combines these two possibilities of communication because meeting at the table with a drink is also an important form of information, knowledge and experience exchange between beekeepers.
BEECOME 2021 ONLINE CONFERENCE SCHEDULE (Central European Standard Time GMT +1)
First day of lectures November 20, 2021 - SATURDAY
Second day of lectures November 21, 2021 - SUNDAY
TOMASZ ŁYSOŃ BEEKEEPING COMPANY
Tomasz Łysoń Beekeeping Company has been on the market since 1995. It has been a world leader in the production of beekeeping equipment with distribution in over 70 countries for years.
The company specialises in the production of polysterene hives, honey extractor, devices for creaming, uncapping, dosing honey and others.
The Łysoń Company is a steady technological development following the changes in the global market and the needs of the modern customer. It testifies to 10 medals which the company has been awarded internationally by Apimondia over the years. It is a constant contact with foreign customer which allows the company to maintain its operations on a global level.
The Łysoń Company develops its beekeeping activity on many levels; it is not only the production of high quality beekeeping equipment for global distribution, but also education and promotion of beekeeping in the media and society.
The Apilandia – Interactive Centre of Beekeeping run by the company is the only multimedia museum in the country which focuses on matters of beekeeeping.
It is aimed at raising awareness of the significant role which the honey bee and the entire beekeeping economy play in the world. Apilandia is a place available to everyone, regardless of age or level of knowledge in the field of beekeeping.
A visit in the Interactive Centre of Beekeeping takes place on three levels. Visiting the multimedia exhibition in the basement of Łysoń company introduces guests to the world of beekeeping, exploring secrets of bee life step-by-step.
Workshops are also organised in Apilandia, where visitors, after tasting bee products, also have the opportunity to make beeswax candles themselves, thus learning about their health-promoting properties.
Then a visit in the bee yard, including live meeting with bees in professional beekeeping outfit and the possibility of using apitherapy in adapted houses, is the final addition to the educational adventure at the Interactive Centre of Beekeeping. Apilandia is visited by over 20,000 people annually.
Among the visitors there were guests not only from Poland but also from Australia, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Argentina, Israel, USA and Tanzania so far. The Interactive Centre of Beekeeping, which functions since 2018, actively participates in the beekeeping promotion, not only in the museum in Klecza Górna but also in the country, providing educational institutions with necessary didactic materials which enable presentations of the value of honey bees in society.
Additionally, through activities of the Apikultura Foundation, Tomasz Łysoń Beekeeping Company not only supports local beekeepers but also supports the development of foreign beekeeping operations.
One of the foundation’s flag project was technical and substantive support of the monks from Mount Afon in Greece.
In 2019, the Apikultura Foundation donated to the monastery not only polystyrene hives, but also a honey extractor, beekeeping suits, a table for uncapping and other professional equipment, increasing the level and efficiency of the beekeeping run by the monks.
The foundation also supports people with disabilities, countering social exclusion, eliminating barriers and supporting professional and social activation. In cooperation with Andrej Sever from the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, the idea was born to create a honey extractor for people with reduced mobility.
This equipment has met with great recognition during Apimondia in 2019 in Montreal, where the Łysoń company received a gold medal for this innovative solution.
Through the agency of Apikultura Foundation, honey extractors for the disabled people reached the most needy beekeepers, restoring the ability to run their beekeeping on their own.
Activities of the Łysoń company also include the promotion of beekeeping in the media. Under the patronage of Apikultura, in 2019, via the YouTube platform, the educational series “Dinara Asks” was released in several language versions. It has met with exceptionally positive response among the beekeeping community, and was also permanently included in the didactic material used in schools.
In 2021, in the era of distance learning dictated by the global Covid pandemic, the foundation launched another educational project called “Kala and Bees”. It is a series of 10 episodes about beekeeping, where the main character exploring secrets of bee life is the muppet Kala – an inquisitive and funny beginner in the world of beekeeping. The programme for primary school children, just as “Dinara Asks”, is available on the YouTube platform in several language versions.
As a part of beekeeping education, the ŁYSOŃ company has also been running webinars for years with the support of world-class speakers.
Among issues and problems raised during online lectures there are topics so far such as: preparation for the first batch, a global view on beekeeping issues, the fight against varroasis, how to relieve swarm mood and the treatment of bee mothers.
ŁYSOŃ webinars enjoy a lot of interest among the listeners and the experience in having online conferences allows for high-quality meetings. Among the meetings so far, Polish beekeepers had the opportunity to discuss with such authorities in the beekeeping industry as: Phd Daniel Cristian Popovici or dr. Peter Kozmus - vice president of Apimondia.
The European Beekeeping Conference BEECOME is another step in the history of Łysoń company towards spreading knowledge in the field of beekeeping, this time on a global scale.
Tomasz Łysoń Beekeeping Company has been guided by 5 main values for over 25 years. It is responsibility, commitment, close relations, honesty and innovation that have led the Łysoń company to the podium of many prestigious beekeeping competitions. Each of the awards is a motivation for further activities for the development of global beekeeping.
2010 – Award for innovations in beekeeping – Pleven (Bulgaria)
2011 – Gold medal at the POLAGRA TECH International Trade Fair in Poznań
2013 – Medal of the Outstanding Exporter of the Year 2013
2013 – APIMONDIA – Kiev
- 1 gold medal in the category of large stalls
2013 – Medal of pr. dr. Jan Dzierżon for outstanding credits in the development of beekeeping
2013, 2014, 2015 – BUSINESS GAZELLE in the category of the most dynamically developing company
2015 - APIMONDIA 2015 – South Korea
- 2 gold medals – the electronic protection and control system for bee yards – ControlBee and a honey extractor with a built-in weighing and steering module
2016 – Eagle of Export in the category of the Most Dynamic Exporter 2016
2017 – APIMONDIA - ISTANBUL
- 1 gold medal – Stanisław Brach’s artistic work "Flowing Honey"
- 2 bronze medals for the BeeLab project and an incubator for breeding bee mothers
2018 - Medal of the Outstanding Exporter of the Year 2018
2019 APIMONDIA 2019 – Canada
- 3 gold medals – honey extractor for the disabled, Stanisław Brach’s work "Flowing Honey" , reportage "Mission of the Bee Yard" with Jacek Wojciechowski’s participation
- 1 bronze medal – Natural cosmetic with bee products – Bee Butter
2019 – Lesser Poland Economic Award
2019 – BUSINESS GAZELLE in the category of the most dynamically developing company
2019 – The Łysoń company is among the best employers hiring 50 to 250 people according to the ranking prepared by Rzeczpospolita.