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
        • Origin of the bees - Annex I C3
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Beekeeping, origin of bees - DE Bioland 2005
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In general only bees of BIOLAND certified origin can be brought in. In case of unavailability, bees from other certified organic operations can be purchased. Conventional queens and swarms can be brought in annually in a quantity of up to 10% of the existing stock. (Bioland production standards, Purchase of Additional Bees)
The BIOLAND standard is slightly more precise by requiring the preference of BIOLAND origin for bees to be brought in, which is not regulated by the EU Regulation 2092/91. The provisions concerning bees from conventional origin to be brought in are identical with the EU Regulation. To ensure BIOLAND quality throughout the whole production chain.
Beekeeping, origin of bees - Demeter International 2005
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Colonies and queens to be brought in must come from Demeter certified beekeeping. In case of unavailability, certified organic colonies and queens can be brought in. Other colonies can only be brought in without combs. (DI production standards, 4.1.1 Buying-in of Colonies and Queens)
The DI standard is slightly more detailed. According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 approval can be given to bring in complete conventional colonies in extraordinary cases (high mortality, health reasons, catastrophy). These colonies have to be converted. Colonies and queens of Demeter quality are not regulated. In order to support independence from the continuous introduction of bees from elsewhere. To ensure Demeter quality throughout the whole production chain and avoid contamination with objectionable substances.
Beekeeping, origin of bees - Naturland 2005
Only colonies and queens from certified organic origin (NATURLAND or equivalent, if available) and free from contamination with substances, prohibited by the NATURLAND standards, can be brought in. (NL standards for organic beekeeping II.7. Brought-in bees)
The NATURLAND standard is similar but slightly more precise by requiring NATURLAND certified colonies (or equivalent) if available. To ensure NATURLAND quality throughout the whole production chain.
Beekeeping, reproduction - Demeter International 2005
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Propagation of the colonies and selective breeding must be based on the swarming instinct of the bees. Artificial queen breeding, instrumental insemination and genetic engineering is prohibited. (DI production standards, 4.1 Colony Increase and Selective Breeding)
The DI standard is more detailed. Apart from the exclusion of genetic engineering, no specific requirements are indicated regarding the breeding techniques and propagation methods for bees in the EU Regulation 2092/91. Bee keepers working in the context of biodynamics and orientate themselves primarily towards meeting the natural requirements of the colony. Management is so structured that the bee is able freely to unfold its true nature. Swarming is a vital element of the natural behaviour of the bees. It contributes to the fortification of the bee hive, which is an important aim of Demeter beekeeping.
Beekeeping, reproduction - Naturland 2005
Natural methods for breeding and reproduction are to be preferred. For the propagation of colonies, the swarming instinct should be taken into account. Artificial insemination of queen bees for breeding purposes needs approval by NATURLAND. (NL standards for organic beekeeping II.5.Beekeeping practice, breeding, increasing stocks)
The NATURLAND standard is more detailed. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not regulate the propagation of colonies. Swarming instinct and artificial insemination are not mentioned. In order to use the natural disposition to reproduction for the propagation of colonies and make it more natural.