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Beekeeping is a very interesting and profitable venture that can be combined with other ventures or jobs with ease. Keeping bees is practiced by hundreds of people in the Netherlands as a profession or rather as a hobby. Dutch beekeepers together have 40,000 to 80,000 bee hives spread over the country. With their hives they take care of the pollination of all sorts of vegetables, fruit and seed crops.
The annual total turnover for the Dutch economy is estimated at 1 billion euro. However, the income of the beekeepers for this service is relatively low and the economic yield of the honey is also negligible in comparison with the contribution honey bees make to agriculture and horticulture. Furthermore, the honey bee is also very valuable for nature in the Netherlands. About 15% of the wild plants is pollinated by honey bees. Part of these plants mainly depend on honey bees for seed formation and thus for their survival. This makes man-kept bees crucial for biodiversity in nature. The beekeeping profession has changed drastically since the Industrial Revolution due to the influx of machinery. And as time has progressed, the machinery that has been developed has become more advanced and affordable. Equipment like honey extractors, wax extractors, bee smokers, presses, filters, storage equipment and protective clothing have advanced. And these innovations have made beekeeping affordable, profitable and easier to do. And not only is the equipment more advanced, the methods used to cultivate and harvest the honey are modern as well. There are more than 300 different types of honey. Flavour, aroma and colour of a honey can differ substantially based on the flowers that nectar was collected from.
Retired beekeepers, advisors and teachers in beekeeping who have been working in the Dutch beekeeping sector, and some of them with considerable international working experience, are registered as senior experts with PUM.
On request these PUM senior experts are eager to assist beekeepers and other actors in the beekeeping sector with a range of beekeeping issues:
- Overview of apiary location and management
- Various bee species
- Mites and parasites, diseases and treatment, hygiene
- Supervision of quality control in various aspects of beekeeping and honey production; standardisation of types of honey
- Value added bee products: wax, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, venom and other processed products
- Supplemental nutrition
- Hive and bee management: queen-breeding and queen selection, swarming, dividing, etc.
- Protective clothing
- Construction of beehives and beekeeping