The EU numbers approximately 600 000 beekeepers and 16 million hives according to 2016 data reported by the Member States. Only 4 % of EU beekeepers have over 150 hives, commonly considered the minimum for professional producers. However, this figure gives only an average indication of the number of hives that could provide a viable revenue, as the boundary between professionals and amateurs can vary across countries depending for example on differing profitability or income levels. Beekeepers are present in all EU countries, with big differences in terms of numbers and size (see Table 1). Germany accounts for about one in every six EU beekeepers, while there are only a few hundred in Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta. In Italy, beekeepers with more than 150 hives manage 60 % of all bee colonies. While 72 % of EU apiculturists are members of a beekeepers’ association, differences across the EU show fewer affiliates in France, Italy, Poland and Spain. National figures show a drop in the number of beekeepers but an overall stable number of beehives over recent years. EU farm statistics confirm this trend as regards farms with beehives.
The EU numbers approximately 600 000 beekeepers and 16 million hives according to 2016 data reported by the Member States….
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