All abuzz

17.10.2011 | kyivweekly.com.ua

Sweetening Ukraine´s chances with honey

Fans in Ukraine are abuzz. It is not the football fans who have been agonizing over Ukraine´s chances in the Euro 2012 and other European football competitions with Shakhtar´s lackluster performance against an unknown and underfinanced Cyprus team. Or over the now unveiled and revamped Olympic Stadium. In fact, the good news comes from the country´s non-human economic contributors. Without any help from the government, Ukraine´s honey bees have brought in a record crop along with boosting Ukraine´s international reputation. Ukraine has scored a sweet deal. It has been awarded the 2013 International Apiary Conference - the top world conference in beekeeping and honey-making. The conference brings together the planet´s best bee scientists, honey makers, and beekeepers to view the gamut of Ukraine´s world class facilities from the science of bee health, hive innovations, honey processing factories, and a taste of the end-product. Ukrainians have a long history and tradition of beekeeping, which complements its agro heritage. as an agricultural people. But Ukraine´s beekeepers are not just quaintly tending a couple of hives. Beekeeping is big business and big science - and with Ukraine in the big leagues, surprisingly, one that hardly sees state interference. Perhaps that is the secret. In fact, the last president was not only an avid supporter, but an enthusiastic beekeeper himself. He will have a reason to venture out. The current leader may not like to meddle with stinging insects, but he has offered his support to the promotion of honey products. The state will likely even take the sting out of taxing the sector as we can be sure that the government will not be inferring with honey bees. In fact, Ukraine is one of the world´s top 5 honey producing countries and has produced both of the largest beeswax candles in the world - both over 100 pounds. Apiary scientists have also invented new types of hives for improved production, and Ukraine also has its own species of honey bees. One can be sure that this apiary world cup in 2013 will not see the kind of mismanagement and skimming of profits as the football. In fact, in almost unheard of efficiency, its busy bee organizers have already organized the event with a program in place and facilities arranged. Let us hope that this sector - a shining example of human and non-human cooperation - can serve as an example of efficiency and success.

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