A scheme to develop the island’s bee economy was announced on Wednesday by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keve).

The sponsorship scheme for the development of the bee economy invites individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to apply for the grant, with the sum ranging from €2,000 – €5,000.

“The bee economy refers to the production, reproduction and processing of products derived from bees, such as beeswax, honey, pollen, propolis and royal jelly, as well as the provision of bee-related services and/or activities,” according to an announcement by Keve.

The initiative is being implemented within the framework of the European project MedBEESinessHubs co-funded by the EU under the cross-border programme ENI CBC MED, with a total budget of €1,110,609 and co-financing of €999,548 (90%).

“Bees are crucial for the environment and their number has been sharply decreasing. Their contribution to the economy cannot be underestimated either. This applies to the whole Mediterranean area, let alone to the most deprived rural regions where beekeeping is often one of the few profitable sectors,” according to ENI CBC MED on its website.

The project intends to contribute to the development of an actual Mediterranean BEE-economy by connecting clusters in five countries. The project consortium consists of 6 organisations from Cyprus, Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, and Palestine and is coordinated by Keve.

The initiative expects to see a vast range of products – from cosmetics to handcrafting souvenirs – incorporated in the plan to consolidate what it calls “bee-tourism”.

Special attention is also given to young entrepreneurs. “Young people will bring fresh BEESiness ideas while the project will pollinize them by granting financial and technical support,” it said.

More information can be found on https://enicbcmed.eu/projects/medbeesinesshubs website. Anyone interested in the initiative can follow the project on Facebook and Instagram.

Meanwhile, the deadline for applications is Wednesday, 10 May, 2023 at 6pm. Applications must be sent to [email protected].

For more information, interested parties are invited to call Keve on 22889840.

The Grant Scheme Guide, as well as applications and all relevant documents can be found on https://ccci.org.cy/medbeesinesshubs/ project website, both in Greek and English.