On 23 February 2018, with the support of the Nature Conservation Programme in Macedonia, a core group of beekeepers from the Bregalnica region was formed, Honey East, with a headquarter in Kocani. This association is the initial group of local beekeepers who participated in the trainings for young beekeepers organized as part of the Nature Conservation Programme in Macedonia, who are ready to apply practices for sustainable beekeeping with the Macedonian autochthonous bee Apis mellifera macedonica, alternative approaches in the fight against bee diseases in order to preserve biodiversity, as well as have economic profit for local beekeepers.
With their activities the association members are focused on the application of uniform methods and techniques for sustainable beekeeping and production of honey and other products without the use of chemicals, educating young beekeepers on practices for sustainable beekeeping, primarily from the East Planning Region, and generally in the entire country, creating a recognizable and uniform brand of honey and bee products from the Bregalnica region, supporting young beekeepers to encourage the development of beekeeping in the East Planning Region, as well as creating conditions and markets for selling the products.
The concept for establishing a core group is a new form of cooperation and association that is supported through the Programme, with the purpose of having educated beekeepers with uniform knowledge about production of honey and other bee products, who through sustainable use of the benefits of nature will start their own business and will develop products with added value on the market.
“For all new beekeepers as well as for the beekeepers with certain experience from the East Planning Region and beyond, who want to apply the principles of sustainable beekeeping, as well as the other members of the Honey East core group, we will organize adequate trainings for new beekeepers or additional training for beekeepers with certain experience, so that they have uniform knowledge and methods. Our goal is to have educated beekeepers in the Bregalnica region with knowledge about the principles of sustainable beekeeping that would contribute to the preservation of local biodiversity, and at the same time make profit from the sale of their recognizable product produced in the gorgeous areas of the East Planning Region”, said Vanco Kirovski, the association’s chairperson.
With the Programme’s support, there will be tailor-made training for the core group members in the field of marketing and branding, as well as advance training for production of other bee products.