To Bee, or Not to Bee?

September 2, 2020 8:30 - 10:00


Ever since the earliest days of recorded history, bees and their products have a close relationship
with humankind.
The belief that honey is a nutrient, a drug and an ointment has been carried into our days.
Recently, the medicinal use of honey has been rediscovered also by the medical profession and is
gaining acceptance as an antibacterial agent for treating ulcers, wounds and other surface
Until the first part of the 20th century, honey dressings were part of everyday wound care practice.
With the advent of antibiotics in the 1930s and 1940s, views changed and honey was consigned
to items of historical interest. Misuse of antibiotics, the emergence of resistant bacteria, and
increasing interest in natural remedy have provided an opportunity for honey to be re-established
as a broad-spectrum, antibacterial, and wound-boosting agent that is non-toxic to human tissue.
The European honey-bee, Apis mellifera, is the most economically valuable pollinator of
agricultural crops worldwide. Bees are also crucial in maintaining biodiversity by pollinating
numerous plant species.
In a context of climate change and increasing pollution, there is a large body of data indicating a
direct influence on honeybees behavior, physiology and distribution as well as on honey and other
hive products production and quality.
Conservation measures will be needed to prevent the loss of this rich genetic diversity of
honeybees and to preserve ecotypes that are so valuable for world biodiversity.
In this round table, we will discuss about the climate change and pollution as an important risk for
honeybees and the apiculture, and about the new opportunity that honeybees could give to
beekeepers all over the world, especially in developing countries, if we start to consider honey not
only as a sweet and precious food.

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