In a ceremony hosted by MEP Franc Bogovič in Brussels, the VIII edition of the European Bee Award acknowledges the great commitment of private and public organisations, as well as the involvement of the research community, to enhance pollinators’ wellbeing and support bee-friendly farming practices in Europe.
The European Bee Award has been committed to acknowledging, supporting and incentivising, innovative and scalable projects that ensure the protection and prosperity of pollinators in Europe. This award was established in 2014 by the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO) and the European Agricultural Machinery Industry Association (CEMA), who were delighted to provide the prizes to this year’s winners:
• Category ‘Land management practices’: the winner is ‘Coup d’Pousse’, a project by Réseau Biodiversité pour les Abeilles. With the participatory action of melliferous fields sponsorship, farmers can register to benefit from seeds to sow flower strips in fallow land in spring, and intercrops in summer. Beekeepers can also register to get in touch with farmers who implanted floral resources in their department, to set up their hives there.
• Category ‘Innovative and technological solutions’: the winner is ‘Connected scales’, an initiative by FDSEA Ile-de-France (Departmental Federation of Farmers Unions in the region Ile-de-France). This project aims to allow the best living conditions for bees by protecting them from phytosanitary treatments periods. Besides agricultural practices adaptation to bee protection, this project also implements flowering fallows to make them available to pollinators.
In addition, the ‘Special Mention of the Jury’ was bestowed to ‘Smartomizer H3O protecting bees by reducing the pesticides use’, by Pulverizadores Fede. The Smartomizer H3O is an integrated pest management system that reduces negative effects on pollinators and also protects biodiversity by reducing the environmental impact of the high value crops protection task by carrying out precise and eco-responsible treatments.
Franc Bogovič MEP (EPP, Slovenia) commented: ‘With this Bee Award and throughout the years, we have talked a lot about the role of bees, the role of pollinators, and the biodiversity problems in nature; and as we see now with the Common Agricultural Policy, Biodiversity Strategy and Farm to Fork Strategy these topics are on top of the EU agenda which can change European life and European Agriculture.’
Mr. Robert Konrad, Adviser for Nature Capital, Directorate General for Environment intervened at the event: ‘I am very glad to see that ELO are actually acutely aware of the challenges and are actively contributing to the solutions and together we hope that we will be able to deliver a strong EU action for pollinators, food security and of that nature.’
Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director General, Directorate General for Legal Service at the European Commission said: ‘Land managers who champion good farming environments for pollinators can act as pollinator ambassadors to inspire change and to support their peers to follow the same route. This is why I would like to thank them for all the work they are doing and to call upon land managers to continue contributing to this process. Just before I give the prize, I have a final message for you, bees have a reputation for being industrious, hard working and team players. I think we should learn more from them, and we should behave more like them, because protecting them is the best way to ensure our own future on this planet.’
Thierry de L’Escaille, Secretary General of the European Landowners’ Organization: ‘We launched the European Bee Award alongside CEMA because we want to support emerging pollinator-friendly initiatives taking place around Europe. Without our bees and other pollinators we would not have our beautiful countrysides and landscapes. That’s why these projects matter so much. Ensuring rich biodiversity is a crucial part of sustainable land management. Promoting and rewarding the support of our pollinators is the least that we can do. It is with the help of farmers and land managers like the participants of our award that we can protect our environment and allow nature to thrive through their sustainable and innovative practices. Their efforts are monumental and we are grateful for their mission.’
Gilles Dryancour, Honorary President of CEMA, and member of the Jury: ‘Since the foundation of the European Bee Award, CEMA has been particularly interested in projects that generate innovation. Each year, one project stands out from the others because of the solutions it offers to protect or ensure the good health of bees. This year, 2021, was a remarkable year, as all the projects were of exceptional quality. This shows how difficult the jury’s choice was. However, after lengthy discussions it was decided to award the project ‘’Connected Scales” which offers many analogies with precision agriculture, meaning: the collection of data (by weighing the hives), the interconnection of these data for decision making (the programming of spraying operations). All of this leading to sustainable optimization; hence a project that should meet the expectations of European farmers and beekeepers.’
In 2021, the European Bee Award competition received 28 applications from 12 different European countries. Last night’s award ceremony gathered over 60 participants: bee-keepers, policy makers, land managers, academia and representatives of the agri-food sector exchanged best practices, while getting inspired by new ideas on how to protect bees and enhance biodiversity in Europe.
To learn more about this award please visit:
About European Landowners’ Organization (ELO)
ELO is committed to promoting a sustainable and prosperous countryside and to increasing awareness relating to environmental and agricultural issues. Engaging various stakeholders, ELO develops policy recommendations and programmes of action. ELO also organises interdisciplinary meetings gathering together key actors from the rural sector and policy makers at the local, regional, national and European level. Its ability to do all of this assures ELO its unique position among the think tanks in the agricultural, environmental and rural activities’ sectors.
CEMA aisbl is the association representing the European agricultural machinery industry. With 11 national member associations, the CEMA network represents both large multinational companies and numerous SMEs active in this sector. The industry comprises about 7,000 manufacturers, producing more than 450 different types of machines with an annual turnover of about €40 billion (EU28 – 2016) and 150,000 direct employees. CEMA companies produce a large range of machines that cover any activity in the field from seeding to harvesting, as well as equipment for livestock management.