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Apimondia Conference 2005

"Apimondia exists to promote scientific, ecological, social and economic apicultural development in all countries and the cooperation of beekeepers` associations, scientific bodies and of individuals involved in apiculture worldwide." So says its official website at here.
Apimondia holds conferences every 2 years at different venues all over the world. In 2005 the conference took place in Dublin and I attended it for the first time.

Thousands of beekeepers, scientists, journalists, equipment manufacturers and representatives from the honey and hive products industry descend on the venue for the 5 days of the conference.
As well as a huge exhibition centre with stands from all over the world there are lectures, workshops, competitions and displays covering everything you can think of from the world of the honeybee.
The conference is the place to come with that new invention that is going to revolutionise beekeeping or the scientific discovery that will be a landmark, if you want to wheel and deal with the world honey industry or just want to listen and see the bee world spread out before you.
You can see the the bizarre and the weird rubbing shoulders with the establishment and for someone who is so wound up in the world of the bee it is reassuring sometimes to realise that you are not alone.

The conference in 2005 will be remembered as the first year that many of the eastern European manufacturers and beekeepers exhibited at Apimondia in great numbers. The proximity of Dublin to mainland Europe and the growing confidence of many of the former communist bloc countries meant that Poland, Serbia, Russia, Hungary and Bulgaria were well represented.
There were several Chinese trade stands in the exhibition. This was shortly after the EU imposed a trade ban on Chinese honey due to questions about contamination with antibiotics and the people on the stands seemed to be pressing a lot of flesh presumably to keep on good terms with the honey world. Although there were a few Chinese scientists giving presentations the main Chinese presence seemed to be economic.
This was my first time at such an international conference and my first time hearing simultaneous translation over headphones given by teams of translators sitting in booths beside the main lecture hall.

There are seven basic themes to the conference based on the standing commissions in Apimondia:Beekeeping Economy, Bee Biology, Bee Health, Pollination and Bee Flora, Beekeeping Technology and Quality, Apitherapy and Beekeeping for Rural Development.Talks are arranged to cover all aspects of these themes and the timetable means that four or five lectures take place at the same time. The timetable can be a nightmare!
I spent quite a lot of time at the rural development talks and workshops where I was entertained and informed by a number of delegates from developing countries chaired by Nicola Bradbear from the UK.