„There is a strong relationship between mankind, nature and the roles of bees and people are well aware of that. Therefore, beekeeping has its important place in the society. However, we face a situation when beekeepers are aging and we have to think of the young generation which has the future in its hands. In order to support these young people and to help grow their passion for beekeeping, each of us can contribute by showing them the beauty of this activity and helping them to discover how the world of bees works. In order to make our efforts effective, we need to integrate individual activities in a united and coherent system of long-term cooperation, preferably which would work worldwide. This was one of the biggest reasons to start with the project of International Meeting of Young Beekeepers, which is one of the founding elements of this idea. We aim to create a world network of young people interested in beekeeping. I believe that the steps of older and experienced beekeepers will be followed and that beekeeping has its place among the new generation even though the world is always changing.”
RNDr. Jiří Píza, IMYB Co-ordinator
The International Meeting of Young Beekeepers (IMYB) is an annual meeting ensured by a multinational non-profit community for young people interested in beekeeping. Even though the event started in 2010 as an initiative of a few countries from central Europe lead by the Czech Republic, it has gained a large popularity and has become the largest international meeting for young beekeepers worldwide. It is designed for participants in the age from 12 to 16 who compare their knowledge and skills, establish new friendships and find more about other countries and cultures during usually a four-day meeting. So far, five annual meetings of IMYB have already been held - 1st in the Czech Republic - 2010, 2nd in Austria - 2011, 3rd in the Czech Republic - 2012, 4th in Germany – 2013 and 5th in Poland – 2014 and about 24 different countries coming from Europe as well as from other continents have participated and represented their national colours. Among these countries are the following ones - Austria, Belarus, Bosna and Hercegovina, Czech republic, England, Germany, Israel, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine and Wales.
The meeting itself is a combination of a competition focused on beekeeping and a diverse social and cultural program during which the participants can socialize and tighten their contacts. The competition consists of several practical as well as academic disciplines and it tests the knowledge and skills of young participants. However, the goal of the meetings is not just the competition itself, but mainly to motivate young beekeepers, promote the idea of beekeeping among them as well as to provide them with social and cultural experience. The future of beekeeping is in hands of the young generation whose passion, interest and skills will help to preserve it and move it forward. At the same time, the IMYB experience is for many participants the first trip abroad without their parents and it creates a strong emotional experience which can influence their future life path. These meetings help to interconnect significant topics such as bees, ecology, young generation or creation of united world. IMYB is not only an annual meeting but it also supports exchanges between families, schools, cities and other organisations and it also creates nice friendships between people with similar interests.
President of Czech Beekeepers Association
of IMYB 2016