Open conference in Lebanon and World Bee Day!

May 17, 2023by fani



SafeAgroBee, a PRIMA project, organised an open conference on Monday 15 2023, on the occasion of World Bee Day, with the collaboration of the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI), the Lebanese University (LU) and the National Council for Scientific Research – Lebanon (CNRS-L).

The event was a fruitful one, since it brought together institutional leaders, researchers at all stages of their careers, from all over the world, experts from the field as well as advanced beekeepers, amateurs, enthusiasts and bee lovers.

They all came together to discuss “Beekeeping sustainability hand in hand with pollinator friendly agricultural production” (The theme that the FAO chose for this year for the World Bee Day celebration).

There was around eighty participants in person without counting the online partakers.

The conference was divided into three sessions. And with no trite phraseology, the talks were succinct and to the point.
It was a unique kind of conference since every group of people were able to participate. Everyone’s opinion and question was heard.


The first session comprised a word from Dr.Nizar Haddad, from Jordan, who was able to join via zoom, and shared a couple of his thoughts regarding the non-sustainable agricultural practices that are harming the bee pollination process and the spread of many diseases as a consequence of bee exportation and importation. This also caused the loss of the native bees, like Apis mellifera syriaca.

He also thanked the outstanding support of the agricultural research particularly for honeybee research through the safeagrobee project and Medibees project.


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Dr.Fani Hatjina, from Greece, the coordinator of the safeagrobee project, explained what the purpose of this project was and mentioned that the World Bee Day is an occasion to raise awareness on how everyone can make a difference to support, restore and enhance the role of pollinators. This is the scope of this project as well.

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A video about young beekeepers from Lebanon, Greece, Algeria and Italy was shown. It was refreshing to know that this new generation is setting the pace to raise awareness on the importance of honeybees.

You can watch it here:



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Dr. Peter Kozmus, from Slovenia, was able to send his prerecorded video, celebrating the World Bee Day event. He mentioned that this event is not just to celebrate but to raise public awareness of the importance of bees and what we as a society can do to make the environment more favorable to bees.


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The representative of the National Council for Scientific Research – Lebanon (CNRS-L), Dr. Elise Njeim, also gave a speech on this occasion.

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The representative of the president of The Lebanese University Prof. Bassam Badran, the dean of the faculty of agriculture, Prof. Nadine Nassif talked about the importance of bees in the world and mentioned that the faculty of agriculture added the study of bees and beekeeping in their curriculums since the beginning. And the faculty also highlights the importance of the Lebanese honey and its value in the market nationally and worldwide.
She exhorted the faculty, the LU and the teachers to keep working like a beehive.


During session two, the different studies and researches were presented; from Algeria: Dr. Yamina Haidar talked about the situation of beekeeping in Algeria, constraints and development prospects.
From Lebanon, Dr.Dalida Darazi talked about understanding the antagonistic effects against American and European Foulbrood through a biochemical analysis of actinomyces in honeybee. She concluded that there should be a continuous study on testing the effectiveness of actinomyces bacteria swabs as probiotic when ingested by the bee.

Eng. Dany Yammouni, from Lebanon also, presented a similar study as Dr.Dalida Darazi comprising the practical application of the theoretical research. He explained in detail about the process that took place in the beehives.

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The public was very eager to ask questions and have some clarifications about all the new studies that were taking place. Many new insights were given.


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Prof. Chadi Hosri talked about the Medibees project and on monitoring the Mediterranean honeybee subspecies and their resilience to climate change for the improvement of sustainable agro-ecosystems.

He mentioned about the bee subspecies and the difficulty of recognizing them.


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Dr. Anna Gajda, from Poland, talked about Honey Bee viruses. A theme that frightens a lot of beekeepers around the world.

She started with the history of the study of honey bee viruses and mentioned that there are 59 kind of viruses!


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Dr. Nikola Kezic, from Croatia, added a word of appreciation and was impressed of the great results happening in Lebanon. And he encouraged the collaboration and the transfer of the data from all around the world.

He was grateful for the Lebanese beekeepers who opened their homes when they visited them.

And he noticed the nice relationship between the scientists and the beekeeper in Lebanon.


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During the last session, Dr. Dany Obeid set the stage for a round table that revolved around this question:  “Is beekeeping an opportunity for livelihoods in Lebanon?”

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Dr. Mira Yammine, Eng. Dany Yammouni and Eng. Johny Abou Rjeily were participating as well, giving their insights, sharing their own problems as well as giving hope for all other beekeepers.

They tried to answer these questions:

Where are we in this problem?

Where do we want to arrive?

What is the method to achieve our goal?


Dr. Dany Obeid finished the conference with this statement: “It is said that in a certain meeting, with beekeepers form different countries, were given a paper where they had to list the many problems they face in beekeeping, without mentioning the name of the country. At the end, there was a similarity of 85% between the problems listed from all the countries.”
These problems that the Lebanese are facing are everywhere, they are not alone in this battlefield.

Dr. Fani Hatjina also added that this open conference was able to shed the light on all the myriad difficulties beekeepers in Lebanon are facing. And that several other meetings will be needed to deal with each problem.

The open conference was a success, since the goal was to bring clarity to an increasingly complex subject as beekeeping that affects the future of humankind.