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Volume 113: debated on Monday 30 March 1987

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has any plans to assist beekeepers in the United Kingdom by the provision of sugar from European Economic Community stockpiles for winter feed for hives.

No. The European Community does not normally hold stockpiles of sugar. A decision on whether or not to introduce a scheme to provide surplus European Community sugar to beekeepers would be primarily a matter for the European Commission. However, previous Community schemes to provide subsidised sugar to beekeepers have not proved cost-effective: they have resulted in little increase in sugar consumption, high unit administrative costs and have not been popular with our beekeepers because of the denaturing of the sugar necessary to prevent abuse.