Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by EU regulation

  • EC Council Regulation No. 2092/91
    • Annex I. Principles of organic production and processing
      • C.Beekeeping and beekeeping products
        • Conversion period - Annex I C2
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Beekeeping, origin of wax and conversion - Naturland 2005
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Any wax to be introduced into the colonies must preferentially come from NATURLAND certified beekeepers. In case of proven unavailability certified organic wax or residue free conventional wax generated from caps can be used. Plastic foundations are not allowed. During the conversion period, the wax has to be replaced by organic wax respectively wax free from residues. For the extraction of wax, the use of solvents, bleaches or other additives is not allowed. (NL standards for organic beekeeping II.3. Wax and honeycombs)
The NATURLAND standard is more detailed by requiring NATURLAND certified wax if available and by explicitly requiring an analysis to prove the innocuousness of conventional wax. Moreover the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not prohibit the use of plastic foundations. Harvesting and processing of wax are not regulated in detail. There is however the general requirement of careful and adequate extraction, processing and storage of beekeeping products (Annex IC.7.7). To avoid contamination with objectionable substances.
Conversion and labelling, beekeeping - Demeter International 2004
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At the beginning of the conversion period the requirements of these standards must be met with some exemptions regarding the management system of the hives. To the earliest one year after the last application of non allowed substances the beekeeper can be certified 'in conversion to Demeter'. During the conversion period, which may not last longer than three years, the wax must be replaced completely if it cannot be demonstrated, that the wax is free from residues of prohibited substances. (DI standards for beekeeping and hive products, 8. Conversion)
The DI standard is more complex regarding the certification status of 'in conversion to Demeter' for organic honey after the first year of conversion to Demeter. It limits the duration of the conversion period to three years. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 there is no upper limit for the extension of the conversion period. However, as parallel production is not allowed, no organic honey can be sold before the conversion of all the hives is completed. Regarding the replacement of wax, the EU Regulation does not mention zero residues as pre-requisite to use conventional wax. The maximum duration of the conversion period is limited in order to safeguard credibility of biodynamic farming. The replacement of wax is required in order to avoid contamination with harmful substances.
Conversion, beekeeping - DE Bioland Standards 2005
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The minimum conversion period for beekeeping is 12 months. Conversion must be completed at the latest after five years (exceptions are possible). Bee products can only be labelled with the BIOLAND trademark after the conversion has been completed. (Bioland production standards, 4.10.5 Conversion)
The BIOLAND standard contains further requirements. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not require the conversion period to be completed after a maximum of time. However, as parallel management of organic and conventional beekeeping is not allowed, honey cannot be labelled as organic before the conversion of all the hives is completed. To safeguard the credibility of BIOLAND certified organic beekeeping.