Malta proposes national insect status for the Maltese honey bee

The Foundation for the Conservation of the Maltese Honey Bee recently shared positive news regarding the progression of its efforts to designate the Maltese Honey Bee (Apis mellifera ruttneri) as Malta’s National Insect. The request has undergone a favorable evaluation and is now advancing to the Public Consultation phase.

Students from Birkirkara and Safi Primary schools became the inaugural participants in the public consultation process aimed at declaring the Maltese honey bee as the national insect. The launch event, held at the Buskett Educational Hub, featured various activities, including a digital puppet show and a presentation highlighting the pivotal role of the Maltese honey bee as a pollinator.

The proposed amendments to current legislation, subject to public consultation, address concerns raised by beekeepers, streamlining permitting processes between the Environment & Resources Authority (ERA) and the Department of Agriculture. These amendments also offer additional protection to the endemic Maltese honey bee.

ERA’s Director for Environment and Resources, Darrin Stevens, expressed encouragement at the evident passion children exhibit for nature and emphasized the significance of continued conservation efforts. The public consultation is seen as an opportunity to enhance protection for a crucial species contributing to biodiversity.

The Foundation for the Conservation of the Maltese Honey Bee underscored that beekeepers need not alter their bee colony management, assuring that the status elevation of the Maltese Honey Bee does not impose additional bureaucratic requirements or licensing for honey bee keeping.

The Foundation extends an invitation to all to actively participate in the public consultation, emphasizing the collective effort required to elevate the status of the Maltese honey bee within the community.