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20. February 2013.

Vranje – The results of the marketing of honey in the past few years show that honey is a great export opportunity of the Pcinj district, while the laboratory analyzes, which were were done in Germany and Italy, proved that the honey from that area was of ​​the highest possible quality in Serbia and in the Balkans. Therefore, Vranje’s bee-keepers will be able to count on the government’s subsidies this year, as well as on the incentives from the city budget in the amount of two million dinars.

Mile Simonovic, President of the “Matica” association of bee-keepers “, said that every bee-keeper would receive the grants in the amount of 500 dinars per bee community, which will help increase the number of bee-keepers and hives, while fruit-growers and  agriculture would benefit from this.  

“Increasing amounts of the local honey end up on the international market, especially on the German and Italian ones, where over 60 tons of honey were sold last year", he said. According to him, the success is not to be underestimated, especially if it is known that importers from the European Union have very strict rules, and that the "green light" for marketing is obtained only after a detailed analysis has been conducted in these countries.

“Customers were very pleased with the quality of our honey and they took over almost everything we had offered. So, after a long and difficult period, when bee-keepers of the Pcinj region were troubled by the issue of how to sell the honey at all, now they have the problem of  how to produce as much of it as possible "said Mr. Simonovic.

The local self-government reacted to the bee-keepers’ needs through  a project implemented in partnership with the Japanese NGO "JARC" and Hiroshi Matsumoto, who recently visited Vranje, when a donation of 200 hives was agreed for beekeepers in Vranje and Bujanovac. The beehives are intended for future beekeepers, said the Deputy Mayor of Vranje, Bojana Velickov, adding that they were primarily counting on young people who had no funds to buy the necessary equipment themselves, and yet intended to pursue this activity.

"I have already held talks with the Assistant Japanese Ambassador on the criteria and methods of distributing the hives", she said.

Nowadays, there are around 400 bee-keepers in the Pcinj region, and they are gathered together in the “Matica” and “Beli bagrem” associations in Vranje. It is estimated that between six and seven thousand bee colonies are raised in the region, while only about 10 percent of bee-keepers have more than 50 hives, and a mere 10 percent of them have beehives with more than one hundred colonies.

Source: Tanjug News Agency