Beekeeping and its Role in Countryside Ecology and Rural Development

Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices 2017-1-CZ01-KA202-035552


About project

Albert Einstein said that mankind would survive four years after extinction of the bees. There are no crops without pollination; animals will die of hunger - and the people with them.

The project called "Beekeeping and its Role in Countryside Ecology and Rural Development" is a project aimed to sharing experiences at the level of seven different organizations from five EU countries in which the organizations are more or less engaged in the field of beekeeping, education, countryside ecology and rural devepopment.

Beekeeping is one of the oldest fields of human activities. The text is focused on breeding honeybees. The output products are honey, wax, propolis, pollen, beebread. Significant output of beekeeping activities is also pollination of plants. Beekeeping in the Czech Republic has mostly been done by small businesses as hobby as well as by the larger companies for the purpose of trading. Within Europe, the Czech Republic has the densest network of beekeepers in the EU. France, Romania and Bulgaria are the largest producers of honey within the European Union. Countries in Southern Europe are the greatest consumers of honey. In the developed countries of Europe, due to industrial environmental impact and due to introduction of bee parasite Varroa Destructor , beekeeping is the only tool that can keep bees in the open nature and protect the whole eco-system against collapse. Each EU country has a slightly different approach to beekeeping. They use different methods, treatments, wintering and feeding. Southern EU countries and island areas have the advantage of longer seasons; the environment is not affected by agricultural and forest chemicals, which will probably have a decisive impact on health of bee hives.

Beekeeping with are meant as commodity which provides the people with livelihood and also major source of incomes in some areas. The project deals with the status of regional policy and development in relation to this topic. It deals with the ways of how institutions in individual countries support small farmers and beekeepers and how the non-profit and educational sector can get involved in the field of promoting this activity. It can subsequently influence both the issue of employment in a particular region and overall shape and character of the landscape or its attractiveness.

What are the specific objectives of the project?

1) The project results in arrangement of 4 mobilities in 4 countries of 7 organizations (in total 100 mobilities, including 27 student mobilities, 73 mobilities of pedagogues, mobilities of representatives of non-profit sector and then also those of people from practice sphere). All partners are actin in vocational training (education) in their region or provide vocational training to schools (as experts from bussinness practice).Goal is to combine theory and practice of teaching and local bussiness. Then demonstrate good practice and "know how", how to do business in beekeeping on organic way. The main idea of this point is cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices between different institutions devoted to the beekeeping in education.

2) In the whole time of the project duration, we will be working on educational material (5 issues of Magazine) which will be continue to be used for teaching subjects at schools and educational institutions. It will be written in English and in natin languages You can also download this materila in free PDF format. The material is to present results of comparison and offer examples of good practice. It can be used as a guide for turning a relatively neglected area, such as beekeeping, into the shape of a strategic issue for development of a region or in vacation trainnig. Working on this materil will be shared by experts from all the countries and involved organizations, including their assistants. Natura Opava will be a guarantor and editor of this.

3) Results of the project will be also presented all the informations and dissemination activities on the web and fb profile of the all institutions.

4) The project is also aimed to achieve wider integration of young people from partner countries via organizing this project. They will overcome language and social barriers. They will learn to communicate and solve situations in an international team. These aspects, including acquisition of professional knowledge, will provide the students with useful experiences for their future professional lives. Regarding teachers and professional assistants, it will make their methodology profiles wider and allow them to exchange experiences in an international team. Meetings with experts in the branch taught by the teachers will be stimulating; the teachers may get inspired for the purpose of their teaching activities conducted.

5) Based on implementation of local activities, the target group of the project shall become wider. There shall be workshops aimed to beekeeping.

Natura Opava - Czech Republic

Edvarda Beneše 30, 747 05 Opava, CZECH REPUBLIC


Studentska street 8, Ruse, BULGARIA

Izba Rolnicza w Opolu

Północna 2, Opole, POLAND

Masarykova střední škola zemědělská a Vyšší odborná škola, Opava, příspěvková organizace,

Purkyňova 12, 746 01 Opava, CZECH REPUBLIC

Rude-Associação de Desenvolvimento Rural

(Covilhã e Canhoso), Rua Conde da Ericeira, Covilhã, 6200-086 Covilha, PORTUGAL

Universitatea de Stiinte Agronomice si Medicina Veterinara din Bucuresti

Bld. Marasti, Nr. 59 011464 Bucharest, ROMANIA

Associação Regional para o Desenvolvimento

Rua Manuel Inácio Correia 73 - 1º dto PORTUGAL

Natura Opava - Czech Republic, CZECH REPUBLIC
Educational organization called "Natura Opava - Czech Republic" is a non-governmental and non-profit organization that has been dealing with environmental education, training and consultancy in the branch of environmental protection since 1992. Our training programs are aimed to teaching pupils and students to get familiarized with the nature by using own experience. Our motto is - "Learning about the Nature while in the Nature". We also try to provide the wide public with information of natural attractions. Our activities are mainly focused on township of Opava (Czech Republic), Raciborz (Poland) and the region of Amvrakian Bay (Preveza-Greece). During a year, we organize about one hundred seminars, branch exercises and awareness events. We organize nature-scientific expeditions used for making scientific work closer to the younger generation. In cooperation with the Statutory Town Council of Opava, we have regularly been publishing publications about the nature in Opava region in the recent times. Two years ago, we began to issue the magazine called "Opavský Přírodovědný Zpravodaj" (natural-science newsletter of Opava), also with support of Statutory Town Council of Opava. The newsletter has so far had over 9,000 email subscribers. Our activity in vocational education is also quite extensive. We have closely been working with high schools and universities for which we provide branch training and practical lessons within accredited school subjects and also within common lessons associated to involvement of professional experts. We hold methodology lessons in several schools. We are co-administrators and reviewers in prestigious competitions of student works, like for instance Olympic games in biology and secondary-school professional activities at both the district and regional levels. Our members have actively been leading professional training both in traditional lessons and in non-formal education. In this perspective and level, we can monitor and specify significant failures of lessons within professional education in schools focused on natural sciences. This experience has brought us to the the idea to develop this project. With a team of collaborators from schools of Opava, Poland and Slovakia, we have been preparing useful projects aimed to education for students and young people in the branch of sustainable development, agriculture and nature protection. We provide consulting services in the branch of nature protection to the wide public. We also provide consulting services in the branch of environmental education and practical lessons of biology to schools. Information of our activities is available at our website: Our team includes many experts who are mostly graduates of prestigious universities in the Czech Republic; they are extensively experienced in professional training.

Masarykova střední škola zemědělská a Vyšší odborná škola, Opava, CZECH REPUBLIC
They are secondary school of agriculture and higher professional school of Opava; we have been providing adult people with our services as a training centre in the branch of agriculture. We have these school subjects to teach - Agro-business, Nature Protection, Chemist-operator, Gardener, Farmer, General Business, Nature Science Lyceum, Regional Rural Politics. We actively cooperate with the School Farm Opava and Teva (pharmaceutical production company); our organization is aimed to as much as possible connect practical experience in teaching at schools and gradually expand portfolio of partner organizations of the school. We are quite busy in the knowledge branch of international cooperation; we have our partners from more than 10 European countries and their number is increasing every year. This provides our students with opportunity to get familiarized with their culture and gain experience in the particular knowledge branch. Our school is located in the Moravian-Silesian Region, which is a region significantly burdened by heavy industry causing major pollution of the natural environment; our town is one of three most polluted towns in the country, according to statistics of the last year and this year. This region is also known for its big problem with unemployment; our region lies on the border with Poland. Our students come from several different regions of our country; they commute up to the distance of 130 km. Our school is also attended by pupils and students from poor families; their parents cannot afford to provide them with enough money for their trips. This project is a unique chance for those pupils and students to gain international experience in the knowledge branch of knowledge and get familiarized with new culture. Our school is one of few facilities of such kind in the region which are not afraid to accept students with learning disabilities (SPU); these students have their individual study plan in our school. They can also enjoy full support of management and staff employed in the school.

Rude-Associação de Desenvolvimento Rural (Covilhã e Canhoso), PORTUGAL
RUDE - Rural Development Association is the managing body of the Community Initiative LEADER at Cova da Beira, accredited on April 11, 1992 by the National Management to administer this fund community in the Territory NUT III Cova da Beira. Since 2009 RUDE is responsible for the implementation of the PRODER (a strategic and financial support to rural development for the 2007-2013 programming period, approved by the European Commission Decision C (2007) 6159, December 4) that aims: - Improving the competitiveness of agriculture and forestry; - Promote sustainability of rural areas and of natural resources; - Economic and social restructuring of rural areas. It is a legal private entity whose scope of action covers 49 parishes in the municipalities of Belmonte, Covilha and Fundão; RUDE is a legal private entity whose scope of action covers 49 parishes in the municipalities of Belmonte, Fundão and Covilhã, has a total area of 935.9 km2 and a population of 80,471 inhabitants. Its action generates new dynamics in its territory of intervention and, through the adoption of innovative initiatives, particularly in the development of rural areas, contributes to the well-being and quality of life of local population. Geographical proximity and the common features of the three counties, particularly in terms of natural resources and landscapes, were the main reason to bring these territories, the Territory Intervention RUDE - Association for Rural Development. he intervention of RUDE has settled a logic of complementarity of objectives, the impact of which has resulted in partnerships +, + skills to rural areas, opportunities + and + rural development. The implementation of the Local Development Strategies has resulted in a set of actions that caters to the crossing of external factors and internal factors of the SWOT analysis of strategic priorities, particularly in the areas of local products development and valorization; historical heritage; tourism and environment; cross-border cooperation; innovation and competitiveness; social and territorial cohesion. Within its activities, this institution also organizes hobby courses of fruit growing and fruit farming within environmental education and professional training in schools. This institute also conducts relevant workshops in own country.

Universitatea de Stiinte Agronomice si Medicina Veterinara din Bucuresti, ROMANIA
USAMVB is a complex institution and provides Higher Education and Training in: Vegetal and Animal Production; Biology; Control and Expertise on Food Quality; Food Processing Industry; Forestry; Land Reclamation; Environmental Engineering; Biotechnologies; Management in Agriculture; Veterinary Medicine. USAMVB mission, through the 3000 students who come from rural areas, is first formed in the belief that farm production could be increased as a result of the systematic application of current technology and agricultural research findings with the participation of the farming community. Also, to carry the results to a broad range of farmers who could use them; and to train farmers, extension workers, agricultural teachers and researchers from disadvantaged areas so that agricultural production could continue to be increased on a sustained basis.

Izba Rolnicza w Opolu
The Farming Chamber of the Opole province is a self-government unit of the agricultural local authority acting for the problem solving and is representing businesses of entities which are united in this chamber.. The chamber is acting for the farming, influences the forming of agricultural policies and participates in the environmental protection, the culture, the sightseeing and preserving the cultural heritage of rural areas. Activities of the chamber are connected with large-scale support to the agricultural environment by coordinating joint actions in the area of the farming, with supporting initiatives and creating the image of a modern farmer, and also supporting the agricultural education in the province. The chamber has a legal personality. Since the Secondary Agriculture School in Komorno is being managed by a new governing authority which doesn't care about supporting project initiatives of the school, the headmaster established a contact with the Farming Chamber and invited it for the cooperation. Thanks to that, the Farming Chamber, as the petitioner will provide the 20% contribution to the project budget, which will be ensure the budgeting for the ongoing project. The project will be a completely new task for the Farming Chamber enabling a new scope of activity for the Chamber. Trying to meet needs of the society, the representatives of the Chamber suggested supporting various project aiming at agricultural school in the province. Therefore, the headmaster of the Secondary Agriculture School in Komorno, where farmers are educated offered the cooperation in the field of a vocational training course to young people. Since the Farming Chamber was obligated to fulfil following tasks: - conduct operations for the agricultural market; - action in favour of improvement of the quality of cultivations and agricultural production; - develop the cooperation with foreign organizations of farming producers; - cooperate with the civil service in the environmental protection, the health and the country cultural heritage. - consult for activity of agricultural farms and the organizations associated with the farming sector including agricultural schools; The Board of the Farming Chamber decided to prepare and organize international training within the project KA1, where students from the agricultural school will participate under supervision of Farming Chamber representatives.

Ruse University
Ruse University (RU) is the successor of the first national higher technical school outside the capital of Bulgaria, established in 1954. RU is a state higher education institution evaluated with general assessment of criteria 9.28 and accredited by the National Accreditation and Evaluation Agency (NAEA). It is a regional member of the European Universities Association (EUA) and of the Danube Rectors' Conference (DRC). More than 9000 students, including about 450 international students and 150 PhD students, 450 professors, associate professors and assistant professors and approximately 350 support staff belong to the community of the University. The tradition and the geographical location of the RU determine its mission and its strategic role of educational, scientific and intellectual center of the Ruse region and Nortg-East Bulgaria. The RU offers very good on-campus accommodation for 2 400 students. There are eight student hostels, two of which are for families. The student refractory, cafeterias, the medical center, the kindergarten and creche, the post office and job center, the shops and the entertainment center are all in the same part of the campus. Researchers from University of Ruse have good experience in user needs analysis organizing training courses for farmers and etc. They are interest in management of agricultural farms, agro-market for organic products, agro-tourism, plant and animal production, organic production system, and etc. The key persons involved in this project, will be 3 researchers. 1. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Atanas Zdravkov Atanasov is lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture at University of Ruse. He has been active in the co-ordination and development of research projects on implementation of new technologies and scientific methodologies in organic field crops production, organic crop rotation, rural development and organic seeds. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Atanasov has experience in conducting for IASS Obraztsov Chiflik and University of Rousse Leonardo da Vinci projects as “Agrohealth” 2007-LLP-LDV/TOI/2007/EL-18; Organic.Balkanet 2009-1-RO1-LEO05-03584 / LLP-LdV-TOI-2009-RO-008. Also he has experience as researcher in the Leonardo da Vinci project IMPROFARM 2011-1-PL-LEO05-1978. He has experience as partner in the project (ERABEE-TN) 134306-LLP-1-2007-1-GR-ERASMUS-ENW. He has interest in renewable energy and biofuels. He has experience as coordinator of 2 trans-border project between Bulgaria and Romania № 2(3i)-3.1-1, „Biofuels - source of common sustainable development in the cross-border cooperation area” and № 2(4i)-2.1-6 “Network and web platform to improve the public awareness on environmental management and protection in the cross border area Giurgiu – Rousse and adjacent cross border areas.” The pedagogues lead the lessons of professional training and provide beekeeping service all over the country. They represent the field of bio-beekeeping where chemistry is not used. They emphasize natural characteristics of the hives and healthy landscape.

ARDE - Regional Development Association
ARDE - Regional Development Association is a non-profit organization created in September 1995, with the purpose of promoting the economic and social development of the municipalities in its area of activity, through the promotion of its own initiatives and support of projects of local promoters, in close cooperation with entities of local, regional, national and international scope, according to a global intervention strategy and valorisation of local resources. ARDE is based on developing actions that contributes to the socio-economic and cultural dynamism of its territory, which includes the municipalities of Ponta Delgada and Vila do Porto, and encourage a spirit of mutual aid and cooperation between rural territories, so that there is a synergy combination for an integrated and sustainable development project. The ARDE partners, local authorities, socio-occupational and economic organizations in the areas of trade, industry, services, tourism, agriculture and fisheries, social solidarity, environment, culture, crafts, vocational training and education and sport, through their own acquired skills, represent a wide range of areas and sectors that for their diversity and scopes are fundamental structures for the implementation, in the territory of intervention, of local development strategies directed to the local needs satisfaction. ARDE - Regional Development Association has experience in the management of Community Initiative Programs Leader II (1994 – 1999) and Leader + (2000 – 2006); The management of PRORURAL 2007-2013(Azorean Rural Development Program) Axis 3; Currently is responsible for the intermediate management of sub-measure 19.2 of PRORURAL+ (2014 – 2020) - Support for the implementation of operations under the local development strategy promoted by local communities (Local Community Based Development DLBC Leader approach. In addition, ARDE is the manager of the pre-qualified partnership for the management of the coastal DLBC (Local Community Based Development). ARDE has already collaborated and intends to collaborate or create partnerships with similar associations such as ADELIAÇOR – Association for the Local Development of the Azores Islands (Islands of Pico, Faial, São Jorge, Flores and Corvo); GRATER – Regional Development Association (Islands of Terceira and Graciosa) and ASDEPR – Association for Rural Development and Promotion (includes the municipalities of Lagoa, Ribeira Grande, Vila Franca do Campo, Povoação and Nordeste of the island of São Miguel). ARDE technical team has five technicians with a degree in international relations, business management and social animation. The objective of the partnership has to do with the acquisition of new knowledge, new experiences and the acquisition of good practices developed in the partner countries. We are development agency associating the local beekeepers and helping them with their business development. We produce the best honey all over Europe. The process of chemicallisation is marginal in all this country. Pesticides are forbidden in several places. There are healthy hives there. All the agriculture is extensive there, having bio-quality! This partner is irreplaceable, while representing the initial state and the ideal state of beekeeping in the topic.

More about partners

Czech mobility

In the Czech mobility which was taken place on 12. - 26. 7. 2018, we have prepared the following program for the participants:

· Thursday 12.7.
Bee Farm Kolomý. Municipality of Bruntál. Introduction of the beekeeping practice of a large-scale beekeeper. Joinery workshop.
Bee Farm MIlerský. Municipality of Krnov. Introduction of the beekeeping practice of a large-scale beekeeper. Production of mead.
Evening’s barbecue in the garden of Jakub Kubačka.
Hotel in Opava

· Friday: 13.7.
Workshop of Lysoň. Sulkovice in Poland. Introduction of a beekeeping workshop. Honey extractors, clothes and tools.
Honey museum. Town Chlebovice:
Hotel in Opava

· Saturday: 14.7.
Bee Farm of Kamil Kramný. Dolní Životice village. Introduction of a small-scale beekeeper typical of the Czech Republic. Sample of natural garden, apitherapy, bee products, domestic production of mead, keeping the bee-mothers.
Lecture of an assistant from State Veterinary Administration. Statistics of beekeepers and bee colonies of the Czech Republic. Treatment of varroasis under state supervision.
Fenology. Observing the Central European forest. Walking along a forest site around Slezská Harta. Area with regard to bee's food at this year season.
Hotel in Opava

· Sunday: 15.7. Transfer to Southern Moravia, to the village called Blatnička
Visit to the farm of Martin Smetana. Village of Blatnička. Introduction of activities in nature protection. Genofond orchards. Cultivation of historical varieties of garlic...
Visit to a small-scale beekeeper in South Moravia.
Evening dinner with wine tasting.
Hotel in Blatnička

· Monday: 16.7.
Research Institute of Forage Crops of the Czech Republic. Town Troubsko near Brno. Lecture and presentation of breeding bumblebees as pollinators. Lecture and presentation of research and mixing of seed mixtures for bees and insects.
Lunch in Brno
Possible visit to the campus of the University of Brno. Transfer of participants to Opava, Praha or Vienna. You can stay overnight in Brno or in Prague, in Opava or in Viena and visit this city in the afternoon or in the evening.

Reportage from Czech mobility

More about Czech mobility

Azores mobility

12. - 16. 11. 2018

Reportage from Azore mobility

More about Azores Mobility

Bulgarian mobility

13. - 17. 5. 2019

Reportage from Bulgarian mobility

More about Bulgarian mobility

Romanian mobility

21. - 25. 6. 2019

Reportage from Romanian mobility

More about Romanian Mobility

Outputs of the project

The expected results of the project

1) The beekeeping is an important branch of agriculture and we can say that due bees we are here. Its renaissance is necessary due to the employment preservation as well as of local tradition conservation. The regional development, the marketing of local products as the possible subsequent change of consumption habits of consumers are the very popular theme and topic of many projects in last years. The result is that the mobility participants can see how the beekeeping theme is struggling in particular states.
- what is the option and method of finance support in form of grants to beekeepers in particular countries
- what is the option of the support at the municipal and regional level in form of promotion within the tourism and travelling.
- what is the option of promotion through the non-profit and educational sector
- what is the way of possible changes in consumers’ habits
- participants will see examples of the good practice that can apply and promote in their countries
- why it is important to make beekeeping bussines on organic way
- why it is important to have health countrysite for bees

2) The project shall result in mobilities carried out in the specified scope; the mobilities will be very significant for students, teachers and experts in terms of their education. The main scope is about interconnection of labour market and education. It is further about implementation of current trends in beekeeping. Everybody will experience improvement of sense for self-reliance, sense for duty and sense for discipline of students. Participants will learn to work in international groups and work together to solve common tasks during the meeting. All involved participants undoubtedly improve their language knowledge and thus increase their competitiveness when working within the foreign-language team which can be expected for everybody’s professional life within the integrated and open Europe.

3) Any foreign experience creates opinions, attitudes and approached to the life of every human. Coordinators, participants, organisation as well as involved colleagues will undoubtedly recognize the “true” life style, examples of practice and meet the local people during these mobilities. This is the best way how to throw off prejudices and to be more open, etc. We see the international and European impact and the expected result of the project also within this sphere.

4) The certification of project participants is also the result of this project at the end of every mobility. Every organisation shall also receive the certificate on mobility. In addition, the web presentation will be created in all national languages of participants as well as in English (with large photo documentation, activities etc.). The evalvation questionnaires will also be the project results and organisations can work with them and prepare another projects based on them.

5) The project products also include the accompanying activities of “local activities” held by Natura Opava and by Polish partner (Izba Rolniczna) in appropriate countries. The courses of beekeeping, variety definition, bee treatment and processing of honey... etc. shall be held. There will be 4 events in the Czech Republic and 4 in Poland. It will be offered to the large public and shall suitably complete the project topic. It shall promote and preach it. The participation of 70 persons per event is expected.

Tangible products of the project:
1) There shall be an educational material (5 issues of MAGAZINE) created during the meeting; this material will be used for teaching in the school subject of beekeeping as an optional subject taught in the secondary school of agriculture in Opava. This material will also be used in the school in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. Portuguese partners and Natura Opava shall utilize it for teaching in the school subject of beekeeping for their local groups and hobby organizations (as "Český včelařský svaz"). When organizing regular workshops and other events, the material shall be created by project participants themselves. This is how they can compare conditions of beekeeping in individual countries. Each country shall deliver its particular examples of good practice, methods... These examples and pieces of information will be provided during mobilities and participants will be able to properly handle the material. The material (Magazine) will expand into philosophy of local products and regional gastronomy as the modern trend and marketing therein - so-called added value.
2) Websites of the project will contain dozens of presentations in native languages but also all the pieces of information about the project and the resulting PDF tutorial material.


Magazines of the project

Disseminations activities of the project

Project "BEEKEEPING AND ITS ROLE IN COUNTRYSIDE ECOLOGY AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT" takes place in the period 1.1. 2017 - 30.9.2019 and it is supported by ERASMUS + Program (Strategic Partnerships for Vocational Education and Training - KA2). Registration number of the project is: 2017-1-CZ01-KA202-035552. Project budget is 120.855,- EUR.