47th Apimondia International Beekeeping Congress bursts with Polish medals!
Apimondia, organised this year in Istanbul, was an event attracting beekeepers from all over the world. Amidst a trade fair and lectures delivered by world-class experts, every two years, representatives of various countries have the opportunity to compete for gold medals in beekeeping categories. This year, once again, the whole world was talking about Poland. Although, in total, our compatriots brought as many as 12 medals from Turkey, the most valuable ones turned out to be those for an innovative device, beekeeping photography, an educational book for children and cosmetics based on bee products.
Bees unite the world!
"Bees unite the world". This was the slogan of this year's biggest beekeeping event, the Apimondia International Beekeeping Congress, which this year proved to be quite a challenge not only for the organising committee, but also for the anxiously awaiting participants. Due to the pandemic that continued until recently, the congress was postponed until 2022, where Russia was to play the role of host. However, here too, everything changed. In response to the Russian state's aggression towards Ukraine, the Apimondian authorities decided to cancel the congress, which was to be held in Ufa. Although it seemed that for another year the world wouldn’ have to get the event that arouses the most excitement in beekeeping, Turkey – the organiser of an earlier edition of Apimondia in 2017 - came to the rescue.
The International Organisation of Beekeeping Associations, Apimondia, has been bringing together bee lovers from around the globe for 127 years. It is primarily for them that a special biennial congress is organised in conjunction with an international trade fair, where exhibitors from more than 100 countries worldwide can be found. This year, the Łysoń company, one of the world's leading producers of beekeeping equipment, could not be missing from this list. With 14 medals to its credit so far, the Beekeeping Company Tomasz Łysoń, also this time took part in the race for the gold medals awarded in over a dozen categories.
Polish beekeeping is now the colour of gold
The educational beehive submitted by the Apikultura Foundation attracted the greatest interest among the international jury. As the judges of the prestigious competition emphasised, against the background of various, yet typical for this category, beekeeping equipment, the dadant beehive with 20 didactic boards in the form of frames hidden inside, turned out to be a real innovation, which had not yet been seen at Apimondia. Gold was also awarded to the children's booklet "Once upon a time in an apiary", which, with its amusing, rhyming form and eye-catching illustrations, was impossible not to notice among the competing publications. The third gold medal was awarded by the Apimondia committee to a beekeeping photograph, which was the first prize of its kind that the Łysoń company had ever won in this category. Medals were also awarded to soaps based on bee products produced by the Łysoń Apiary, a body lotion, which is the company's iconic product, and candles, which were also on the podium due to their very realistic rose shape. The proposal for a display for bee products, where the construction made of frames and artistically shaped bee wax foundation left the competing stands far behind, also turned out to be a great success, as it was awarded gold. During the final gala, the management of the Łysoń company also received medals awarded for the magazine Pasieka, as well as Anatomy and Physiology of the Honeybee, published by the same publishing house. However, it was not only the competition exhibits representing the Tomasz Łysoń Beekeeping Company that made history at Apimondia 2022 in Istanbul. The Łysoń stand, which not only stood out against the background of the world beekeeping fairs with its size of 120 m2, but above all with its unique composition referring to the joint project of the Apikultura Foundation and Beata Bojda 'Bees&Flowers', will definitely remain the hallmark of this year's edition. The unforgettable atmosphere, meetings after many years, as well as endless discussions on beekeeping are what everyone has been waiting for for a long time. For all the days of the fair, the participants were also accompanied by the already well-known slogan of the Łysoń company "Where is Tarkan?!" which was a reference to the promotional spots of Apimondia, where the adventures of the friendly muppets Tomek, Rafał and Kali from the TV series "Kala and the Bees" invited to meet together during the 47th International Apimondia Congress in Istanbul.
The next congress is coming up on 4 September 2023 in Chile. Although the bar is raised higher and higher every year, we may already expect more unforgettable emotions, which have already become a permanent part of the Apimondia tradition. However, what is most gratifying at events of this magnitude is to see our compatriots who, among the hundreds of thousands of participants from all over the world, are always present where bees are spoken of with passion and love.
Tomasz Łysoń with a special prize during the 19th edition of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition
In 2021, from among the representatives of the Polish business world, only 18 entrepreneurs reached the finals, representing their activities in 3 different categories: New Technologies / Innovation, New Business and Production and Services. On March 4, 2022, during the Final Gala in Warsaw, that the representative of the Wadowice county - Tomasz Łysoń, President of LYSON Company, was awarded a special prize for combining family tradition with running a business in harmony with nature and the local community. “It is very valuable to me that the beekeeping industry, beekeeping and beekeepers are appreciated in big business” - thanked Tomasz Łysoń, the laureate of this exceptional award, during the speech.
EUROPE AS THE HEART OF THE WORLD BEEKEEPING - 8th EUROPEAN BEECOME ONLINE CONFERENCE
On 20th and 21th November in Krakow, the 8th European Beecome Beekeeping Conference was held. For the first time in history it was fully transferred online. Beecome is not only an initiative to combine the world of science and practice, but also an opportunity to present your own beekeeping activities during the International Fair. It was the virtual stands that turned out to be the biggest challenge for LYSON, the official partner of this year's edition. Beecome 2021 ONLINE was an international success. Over 90 countries have registered for the 8th European Beekeeping Conference. The largest group were beekeepers from Poland, the country that hosted the European congress for the first time. The event continues to gather positive feedback among both beekeeping apprentices and representatives of the world of science. The conference’s speakers were: Dr. Peter Kozmus, Prof. Dr. Martin Giurfa, Lotta Fabricius, Linde Morawetz, Dr. Hatjin fans, dr hab. Małgorzata Bieńkowska, dr Piotr Mędrzycki, prof. Aulo Manino, Dr. Piotr Semkiw, MD vet. Andrzej Bober, dr hab. Dariusz Gerula, as well as Etienne Bruneau - one of the three founders of the Beecome initiative and Dr. vet. Anna Gajda, who was also leading the entire conference with Mariusz Opoka from a studio in Krakow.
The conference, simultaneously translated into Polish, French, English and Russian, met with the interest of beekeeping enthusiasts not only from Europe but also from abroad.
THE WORLD OF BEES AND FLOWERING PLANTS "BEES & FLOWERS" - A NEW PROJECT OF THE APIKULTURA FOUNDATION
This artistic project was created thanks to women: Barbara Łysoń - the originator of the “Bees & Flowers” and Beata Bojda - a world-class artist who made a special stylization for the Apikultura Foundation. Honey plants such as apple blossoms and peonies were used by the artist to create a beautiful garland complemented by a dress made of eco materials. We focused on an ecological approach. Finally, we have completed a professional photo session documenting and preserving the beauty of the stylization, which is to remind the necessary symbiosis with bees. Barbara Łysoń, president of the Apikultura Foundation, personally participated in the session.
In January 2020 LYSON Company joined the International Center for Young Beekeepers.
The main mission of the association is international support and coordination of young and novice beekeepers and their international meetings.
The International Meeting of Young Beekeepers is an annual event. It was initiated in 2010 by several Central European countries under the leadership of the Czech Republic. Over time, it gained such popularity that it is now the largest international meeting of young beekeepers in the world. It is aimed at participants aged 12 to 16 who compare their knowledge and skills, make new friends and learn about other countries and their cultures. The meeting is a combination of a competition focused on beekeeping and a diverse cultural and social program, during which participants can socialize and bond.
Another goal of ICYB is to create an appropriate environment for international cooperation in the field of beekeeping education as well as an exchange of methodological and training materials.
It is an interactive beekeeping centre located in the climatic basement of our company's headquarters. The originator of this project is Barbara Łysoń, wife of Tomasz Łysoń, who has also been involved in the affairs of bees for years. The educational centre consists of 5 rooms: The first of them is devoted to the rally in defence of bees, which took place in 2017. One of the Fiats 126p taking part in the rally co-creates the exhibition. There is also a TV set from the times of the People's Republic of Poland with an interactive map of the route. In the second room of Apilandia there are beehives, where visitors have the opportunity to inspect bee colonies. When an interactive frame is ejected from the hive, the screen displays information about the organism of the bee, pollination, the role of workers in the hive, the work they do and much more. Depending on the season, the temperatures in the hive vary. Therefore, in Apilandia we have prepared devices allowing the visitor to make an empirical comparison of temperatures in the bee environment. In the third room you can see an illustration of the production of beekeeping equipment produced by Łysoń: honey extractors, beekeeping clothes, beehives. Children can put on a beekeeper's outfit and become a character in an interactive game. It is also possible to centrifuge honey from honeycombs. Additionally, there is a large bee smoker in the room; when you press the bellows, smoke comes come out of it! The exhibition also takes us on a sentimental journey, illustrating how long the Łysoń family has gone to create a company with the largest production of excellent beekeeping equipment in Poland. In the last room there is a drill that was used to make the first moulds for hives by Marian Łysoń and his grandson, Tomasz. In Apilandia you can also see the process of obtaining beeswax and processing it into a foundation, as well as the production of candles. Let's remember to promote beekeeping among the children, and because it's best to learn through play and observation, taking them to the Apilandia educational centre located in our company's headquarters is an excellent idea. We cordially invite you!
CRACOW HONEY HARVESTING
Cracow Honey Harvesting has been organized annually in September for a quarter of a century. As the name suggests, the event has been taking place in Cracow (for several years on Wolnica Square) and is organized by the Cracow Beekeepers' Association. It not only serves the exchange of experiences between beekeepers, discernment in consumer tastes but also constitutes an interesting educational and cultural-entertainment event. Every year, as a reminder of the event, a melliferous tree is planted, which provides foraging to urban bees, pleases the eyes of the inhabitants and reminds that it is worth planting melliferous plants. Various competitions and interesting artistic performances take place. It is worth coming to Cracow at this time, especially if you are a lover of honey and bees. Taking advantage of the high attendance with a noble cause, Cracow beekeepers have included “blood harvest” as a permanent point of the programme. This language joke, referring to the honey harvest, is intended to encourage as many people as possible to donate blood. An additional prize is awaiting beekeepers. Every year, from the first “blood harvest”, our company funds a honey extractor which, by drawing lots, goes to one of the beekeepers donating blood. We hope this will encourage those who are undecided to visit the blood donation bus. You never know who of us or our loved ones will need such help. Regardless of the prizes, it is worth helping, all the more so because during the event it can be done “incidentally”, without additional commuting and devoting additional time. However, if you are hesitant or afraid and you are a beekeeper, maybe the vision of winning a honey extractor will convince you? We invite you to the next Cracow Honey Harvesting on behalf of the organizers.
COOPERATION WITH THE SKRZYDLACI PRZYJACIELE APIARY
In the Silesian Botanical Garden in Mikołów, a public educational apiary Skrzydlaci Przyjaciele (Winged Friends) has been created. The originators and initiators of the whole project are Agnieszka and Łukasz Przybył. As residents of Silesia, they could not have chosen a better location–the botanical garden is an ideal place for bees to live due to the abundance of vegetation. In addition, the apiary hosts educational workshops and showcases of bee colonies. Organized excursions are welcome–the location provides good infrastructure and easy access. The idea of the educational apiary was born in 2015. The source of financing for this project was a fundraiser through the Polakpotrafi.pl portal. Already at the planning stage, it was met with considerable interest and good opinions of Internet users. Our company also supported it from the very beginning; we are still involved in various events organized by Winged Friends. The project is becoming increasingly widespread: “Since 2017, our ‘beekeeping family’ has been growing steadily. More and more volunteers are arriving, thanks to which our activities are becoming even more professional, creative and accessible. In addition, we’re seeing an increase in the number of beehives and colonies. We are placing apiaries in other cities, testing different solutions, management methods and different types of hives,” we read on the website of the project. That is good news. We know that by helping, we invest in our common beekeeping future. From the very beginning, we saw great potential in this project and our intuition did not let us down. We appreciate the work and commitment of the Przybył family. Perhaps the next generations of beekeepers will fly from under their wings. In the past, beekeeping was most often learned from a father or grandfather. Now you can become a beekeeper without beekeeping roots. Access to knowledge is easier, and practices (at least in part) can be learned in workshops such as those conducted in the Winged Friends apiary. All one needs is determination, time, self-determination and finding passion within yourself. This was the case with Agnieszka and Łukasz. They set a good example.
"2ND RALLY IN DEFENCE OF BEES
Two years later we were again awakened by the desire to go on the road and show our commitment to bees. We organized another rally, this time in Poland. On 9 September 2017, a 7-day rally with 126p’s began under the slogan “Pszczoły przetrwają, gdy kwiaty zapylają” [Bees will survive when they pollinate flowers] organized by the Association of Professional Beekeepers together with the Polish Beekeepers' Association and the Association of Polish Beekeepers Polanka with significant support and involvement of our company. Thirteen crews covered 1,680 km, starting from Cracow and finishing the rally in Koszalin at the XXXV National Beekeeper's Days. The aim of the expedition was to draw attention to beekeeping and the difficult situation of pollinating insects. The slogan of the rally includes the quintessence of the actions taken and a solution to one of the problems faced by bees and their caretakers, i.e. the shrinking foraging area. By planting trees, shrubs and honeydew flowers, we provide bees with the necessary food. This is a bundled transaction because thanks to pollination, flowers can produce fruit and seeds. Bees are therefore an essential link in the food production chain for us and the animals we breed. To set a good example, the participants planted 96 trees and shrubs along the route and distributed the seeds of flower meadows. On the occasion of discussions about bees, the idea of urban beekeeping was also promoted. Following the example of European apiaries, bees started to be bred in larger Polish cities, e.g. on the roofs of buildings, where the insects do as well as they do in the countryside. Some even claim that the city is able to provide better conditions for bees, as urban bees are not exposed to plant protection products used on a large scale in agriculture and there is a higher temperature to facilitate wintering. The participants of the 126p Rally could not miss this point of the expedition and visited two apiaries located on the roof of the Resident Service Centre of the Cracow City Hall and on the roof of the Meeting of Cultures Centre in Lublin. The route had been planned in such a way as to visit important places for beekeepers, such as Kamianna, Stróże, Pszczela Wola, the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, the University of Warmia and Mazury and many others. For bees and the promotion of beekeeping it was worth overcoming every kilometre and every obstacle. Thanks to this we know that together we can do more. We would like to thank our friends and partners for their help and commitment in implementing even the craziest ideas. You can watch the report from the rally here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaLdytL9xXA Probably we haven't yet said the last word on saving bees and promoting beekeeping. Follow our fanpage and website to stay up to date.
"1ST RALLY IN DEFENCE OF BEES
In 2015, the Rally in Europe took place as part of the “Miód kupujesz–pszczoły ratujesz” [Buy honey–save bees]. Although the campaign promoting honey and beekeeping was organized by Wydawnictwo Pasieka in cooperation with the Polish Beekeeping Association, our company decided on the idea of the rally and its crazy realization. In this way, we wanted to support the campaign and give it additional publicity. Tomasz Łysoń, the owner of the company, as a lover not only of bees, but also of the automotive industry, especially old cars, had the opportunity to combine his passions and use them for a noble cause. He managed to convince friends and business partners to this idea and so 10 Fiat 126p’s, each with a two-person crew, covered 4,000 km in Poland and Europe. The “Miód kupujesz–pszczoły ratujesz” [Buy honey–save bees] campaign was aimed at making society aware that by buying honey locally, we indirectly save bees because it is the beekeeper who cares for them. You can read more about the campaign on the website: miodkupujeszpszczolyratujesz.pl You can also watch our video about the rally: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6X5yhTX6nc
"Our company sees a huge potential in urban apiaries. We believe that erecting hives in cities–on roofs, terraces of buildings or green areas–is both necessary and future-oriented. Today's bees, selected for their gentleness, do not pose a threat, and properly managed bee colonies do not disturb inhabitants. Actually, they may not even notice them. In other European countries or in the United States, the trend of beekeeping in urban areas has been maintained for several decades. In Poland, a ban on keeping bees for fear of stings and swarms has been maintained in most cities until recently. Now, however, we are witnessing changes for the better. Social awareness is increasing and bees in cities cease to arouse anxiety. Contrary to some opinions, they do not lack foraging area (and this can be taken care of additionally); instead, they can bring many benefits. Many global companies invest in apiaries in order to contribute to the ecology and increase prestige. Polish companies are also beginning to see potential in this. Customers of companies, hotels and restaurants treated to honey from the company's apiary appreciate this gesture. Urban honey is free of impurities, which has been confirmed by professional research, and its taste is often unique because the nectar from which it is produced comes from a variety of plants that are not always found in the countryside. Urban beekeeping also offers the possibility of taking care of bees and observing these unusual insects without having to leave the metropolis, which generates additional costs and time wasted on commuting. Contact with bees relaxes and adds joy to life. We are convinced that beekeeping in cities and related educational activities make sense and it is worth investing in them. That is why our company has become a sponsor and ambassador of a dozen or so city apiaries."