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| What is Apimondia?|
The ‘Apimondia’ is a compound word made from two words api, meaning honey bees and mondia, meaning the world.
The International Apiculture Congress of Apimondia is held every other year by a different country from 6 continents around the globe.
This impressive meeting called Apimondia had started in Europe to which beekeeping practice can trace its origins. Then, its first international congress was held at the heart of Europe, Belgium. Scientific workshops, presentations among others divided into 7 different sections including apitherapy take place during the course of the meeting.
Apimondia has a total of 75 member countries with 104 member organizations. Korea Beekeeping Association has joined the organization since 1973.
The differentiated voting system is based on the principle of granting points from 1 to 18 to member countries depending on how many member organizations one has and the size of beekeeping industry. The country which has the highest number of points is Russia with 18. Nagoya-Japan hosted in 1985 and Beijing-China in 1993. Now Daejeon Metropolitan City, South Korea will host the congress in 2015 for the third time as an Asian country.
The 42nd International Apiculture Congress of Apimondia 2011 took place from September 21st to 25th in Argentina as beekeepers around the globe gathered to celebrate the occasion. Deputy mayor of Daejeon City and 60 officials from Korean Beekeepers Apiculture Cooperatives and Korea Beekeeping Association along with World Propolis Science Forum (WPSF) Korean Chairman Lee Seung-Wan, participated in the event while kicking off a promotional bid campaign for Apimondia 2015. Additionally the party presented dissertations at the International Honey Commission (IHC) and the Apitherapy Committee respectively. Chairman Lee Seung-Wan made a presentation on WPSF activities whereas WPSF academic counselor Jo Seong-Gi (researcher at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) gave a presentation on the Propolis International Standardization proposal, at the IHC on 23rd and at the Apitherapy Committee on 24th respectively.
Concerted efforts and hard work by the Korea delegation made it possible to secure the successful bid to host the 44th International Apiculture Congress of Apimondia 2015 in Daejeon.
Bid Campaign Activities for Apimondia 2015
The Opening Ceremony of Apimondia 2011 was held on September 21st for several hours until 4-7 o’clock in the afternoon with more than 500 participants amid the colorful performance of Argentine tango and traditional folk dance representing different parts of the country.
However the center of attention was directed at ongoing campaign activities of candidacy countries for Apimonia 2015 throughout the event. In particular Korea’s two different sets of presentations had garnered higher scores than China for its merits of being more pervasive and concrete.
On the last day candidacies had their chance to seize the momentum during their 3 -minute presentation. Korea which had approached the podium after China revealed its hidden card in which complimentary round-trip airplane tickets for 3 persons be offered to 50 developing countries and an amount of 0.1 billion won be donated to the Executive Commission for the development of beekeeping industry in developing countries.
China, during its presentation, had distributed printed handouts about which 3 round-trip airplane tickets for each country and a complimentary hotel voucher for the chairperson be offered on top of Great Wall free tours for all event participants.
When all is said and done, the honor of hosting Apimondia 2015 was awarded to Korea which had earned 86 votes whereas China had earned 74 votes with 13 votes less.
Scientific Presentations on the Propolis Standardization Proposal
WPSF Chairman Lee Seung-Wan and academic committee director Dr. Jo Seong Gi (researcher at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) each gave a presentation on the subject of “WPSF Activities and the Propolis Standardization Proposal” at IHC on 23rd . At the Apitherapy Committee on 25 it was only Dr. Jo Seong Gi who made a presentation on the same theme. During the presentation, Dr Jo Seong Gi highlighted the far-reaching impact of Korea’s leading activities in Latin American countries to the audience and further explained the necessity of Propolis Standardization.
At every presentation Dr Jo eagerly promoted the 4th WPSF 2012 meeting in Malaysia and South Korea’s bid to host the Apimondia 2015. Thanks to this effusive campaign the image of Korea as a leading promoter of propolis has been firmly resurfaced and sparked a lot of interest..
At the venue of the IHC presentation, dissertations brought from Korea were quickly picked up by participants until there was none left.
Propolis Section leader Ph. Dr Vassya Bankova from Bulgaria has assured us to work closely with mutual cooperation for the Propolis International Standardization project.
During the event, a total of 217 scientific presentations were made on beekeeping products of 7 sub-sections. And eight presentations were given specifically on the subject of propolis. All presentations were made in English as an official language but presenters from Latin America were allowed to use their mother tongue, Spanish on condition that materials and interpretation be provided in English. This flexibility of using English while allowing the host country to use their own language was well received and has prompted the Korean delegation to think about the same strategy of Korean presenters speaking in Korean while providing English interpretation in order to encourage more Korean participation.
Public Relations (PR) for the 4th WPSF & Interactions with dignitaries from member countries
Argentina’s most important source of foreign currency is the export of products made from grains and meat which is their principle industry. For example, Argentina has one of the highest beef consumption in the world at about 60kg per capita and year. And Argentina is the largest exporter of honey to the EU market and the United States with a good reputation for its high quality. To that effect, the Argentine Agricultural Biotechnology Commission has been promoting the beekeeping industry in earnest.
Korean Booth received a lot of visitors from Argentina, Urguay, Chile and others whose beekeepers were eager to market their products and held lively discussions with members of Korean team. It was learned later that propolis extract is very effective in treating European Foulbrood (EFB) diseases in honeybees.
It was agreed upon that the 4th WPSF be held as a special session during the 11th AAA Conference (Asian Apicultural Association) & Api Expo. The agreement has been achieved after conferring with Malaysian Beekeepers Association Chairman Mardan over a span of several times at the venue.