The 4th Russian honey fair has opened in the Central Exhibition Hall Manezh in Moscow Wednesday. The fair's objective is to give national bee-keepers an opportunity to sale their products without intermediaries. Since 2000 the Russian Union of Apiarists has been regularly staging honey fairs with support from the Moscow government. Whereas only 105 participants attended the first fair, this fair is attended by 350 apiarists. Bee-masters from about all regions of Russia brought over a thousand tonnes of honey in Moscow. The fair popularity keeps growing, many bee-keepers already have their permanent consumers. Apiarists study consumer demand and broaden the range of bee-products. Fairs similar to those in Moscow started to be held in other regions of the country, for example, in Rostov and Tula regions, Khabarovsk and Krasnoyarsk territories. Owing to the national fairs the bee-keeping sector has good prospects. Over the past decade the private sector stepped up its activities and currently produces 95 percent of honey in the country. In 2000, 71,000 tonnes of honey were produced. According to estimates of the Russian Apiarists' Union, the quantity of honey produced in the country may increase up to 1 million tonnes a year.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated