Beekeeping in Albania 2008

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					                    ASSOCIATION OF BEEKEEPERS OF ALBANIA
                         BEEKEEPING IN ALBANIA 2008

                                Lejla Shehu, General Secretary


Dear ladies and gentlemen,

Let me express the pleasure of being here and in the name of all Albanian beekeepers let me
thank the organizers of this conference for their good initiative in evidencing and
collaboration of Mediterranean beekeeping.

I hope that with the knowledge and representing of beekeeping of each country and also with
the exchange of experience, discussions, scientific events, there will be a direct benefit in
beekeeping.
I hope and think that the Mediterranean beekeeping is structuring, which from the climate,
geographic position and the variety of cultural tradition point of view will always be
interesting.

Beekeeping situation

During the last two decades, after the social and economical changes in our country,
beekeeping is stretched all over the country, with a density of 6-8 beehives / km2.

Even though we have our reservations on quantity of honey production, this product is
present in our tables, and is evidenced as the fourth one from all livestock items, with a
quantity of 1 %.

Beekeeping in our country has a progress and a tendency for qualitative development of
different processes of beekeeping. Number of bees and honey production during the years is:

No of beehives, honey / ton in years

   Years                  2000               2005                2006          2007

Nr. beehieves/000          76                157                 173            171


Honey / ton               1076               1816                2114          2071


We are expressing some concerns regarding beekeeping in our country, which some of your
countries have already passed.
Our beekeepers have made continuous attempts in improving quality of honey production.
Even though most of honey produced is delivered and sold at homes there has been
considerably improved its packaging and there is created a certain category of beekeepers
who sell labeled honey. There are positive attempts, with the support of different
foundations, for creating a common logo for a certain region of the country.
Marketing is still a problem for our beekeepers which is accumulated even from the past.
Qualitative honey is sold at homes and to a limited clientele.

In this stage of beekeeping there is a contradiction, on one side the tendency for development
and progress and on the other one the really impossibility of achieving a development
beekeeping.

Which are the weak points of our beekeeping?

   Professional education of beekeepers in different levels
   Up to a few years ago every year there were qualified 30 new beekeepers per year for all
   the country. This is the base of our actual beekeepers. Nowadays there are organized
   daily and monthly trainings but they are insufficient.

   Emancipation of beekeepers and their trust in creation of honey cooperatives and
   cooperation in certain important processes.
   In our country, after the economy decentralization, creation of cooperatives has difficulty.
   There are made attempts by two associates to achieve this cooperation.

    Implementation of technology for productions as per standards

   Collection of projects in benefit of beekeepers
   Implementation of technology and equipments has to be combined with different projects
   because most of beekeepers have 30-100 bees and a single beekeeper can not face all the
   investment

   Treatment of diseases with correctness
   During the transition period there have been opened a considerable number of drug-store
   centers with various medicines. Most of the times they confuse beekeepers and as a result
   there are a lot of lost bees. This mostly happens even from the no treatment in time of the
   disease from the beekeeper.

   Cooperation with the institutions
   Cooperation with the institutions is mainly done by associations but also by individuals.
   We have cooperated with the agricultural ministry for different projects and for zoo
   technical law. Associations of different areas try to keep relations with the agricultural
   directory for the beekeeping problems. While in the scientific institutions beekeeping
   doesn’t have its position as they are in reformation process and their contribution is
   limited. Contribution that bee gives in agriculture is “unknown”in the profit of
   beekeepers.
Collection of experience within and outside of the country
Cooperation between associations within the country is a continuous one as well as the
one with our neighbor countries like Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, Monte Negro and
Bulgaria. In our country there have come volunteer experts from Italy and several
meetings have been organizes by our associations. A project with the Italian government
for establishing of a regional center is being implementing in one of our small cities, in
Lezha. A group of beekeepers have participated in Apimondia Congress in Australia as
well as in apiterapia meeting in Roma. The president of Apimondia Mr. Jorgensen was
welcomed in our country. He has assured his support for the Balkan projects.
Our beekeepers have a great pleasure to follow beekeeping in other countries and get
their good experience. At the same time they welcome host beekeepers of other countries
to come and visit our beekeeping. We would offer you all our good will and modest
contribution, to complete the knowledge and development of beekeeping of the region.