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Pro Planet Apples from Lake Constance and AI technology Apisfero winning projects of the 2019 European Bee Award


11 Dec 2019


Agriculture & Food
In a ceremony hosted by MEP Franc Bogovič  at the European Parliament in Brussels, the VI edition of the European Bee Award acknowledges the great commitment of private and public organisations, as well as the involvement of the research community, to enhance pollinators’ wellbeing and support bee-friendly farming practices in Europe.
BRUSSELS, 11 DECEMBER 2019 — With the aim of acknowledging innovative, efficient and scalable projects that protect pollinators in Europe, the European Bee Award, established by the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO) and the European Agricultural Machinery Industry Association (CEMA), was handed over last night to this year’s winners:
  • "Pro Planet Apples from Lake Constance" by the Lake Constance Foundation in Germany have developed a way to encourage apple growers in the region to  implement sustainable, pollinator protecting' land management practices. The project has seen very impactful and positive results whilst showing that it has tremendous capacity for scalability. It is the winner of this year’s “land management practices” award; while
  • "Bee Varroa Scanner" by Apisfero A.P.S. A high-resolution scan which uses artificial intelligence to count Varroa mite in the hive helping beekeepers in fighting this scourge widely affecting honey bees in Europe receives the “innovative & technological solutions” prize.
  • Moreover, a "Friend of pollinators" diploma of recognition has been bestowed to ‘Green-roofed bus shelters in Utrecht’ for its innovative and original way to provide shelter and feed for pollinators in urban areas where their natural habitats are scarce.
Franc Bogovič MEP and host of the ceremony stressed "The European Bee Award is a necessary recognition to the very valuable projects which year-on-year show there is a shared commitment to protecting pollinators in European agriculture.  It fills me with joy to see the number of applications to the Bee Award competition rising from year to year. This year there were 36 applications all together, which shows that the European Bee Award is indeed gaining its importance and is also a generator of new ideas, which promote solutions that improve the state of the biodiversity in EU.
Noting the ceremony of the EU Bee Award was taking place on the eve of the European Green Deal’s launch, former European Commissioner for R&D and Environment Janesz Potocnik said “because it is really hard to imagine a future without the bees, let’s respect and treat them in a responsible way, the way they deserve due to all the good things they are providing to us humans and the rest of Nature.
Alain Scriban, special adviser for ELO said “For land managers, pollinators are our friends in the field. Without thousands of bees, butterflies and other insects, our crops would not grow and flourish. Together with farmers, they are among the hardest workers in the countryside, and they all deserve our support.
Gilles Dryancour, Chairman of the CEMA Strategic Committee and member of the Bee Award Jury,  pointed out “initiatives such as the European Bee Award are showcasing bees and pollinators are an essential part to enhance more sustainable farming practices in Europe. Indeed, there is a strong willingness from the European agricultural equipment industry to support innovative projects which could be scaled up for protecting bees’ and pollinators’ life.
In 2019, the European Bee Award competition received 36 applications from 11 different European countries. Last night’s award ceremony gathered over 100 participants: bee-keepers, policy makers, land managers, academia and representatives of the agri-food sector exchanged best practices, while getting inspired by new ideas on how to protect bees and enhance biodiversity in Europe.