Bee numbers are falling all over the globe, and this week the European Commission announced it is considering suspending the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides on all agricultural crops in order to help combat this alarming decline.
As all keen horticulturalists know, bees are essential for the pollination and reproduction of plants. Parts of China now report the complete disappearance of bees, so residents of Sichuan have taken to carrying out the bees’ task manually. Carrying feather dusters and step ladders, thousands of people have been collecting pollen, and pollinating blossoms individually. This is the first project of its kind, but it provides a startling and scary insight into a world without bees.
Recently, European farmers have been so alarmed by the drop in bees, that they have hired beekeepers in order to stimulate the ailing bee population. The lack of bees is putting pressure on Europe’s farming economy, because many crops rely on bees for pollination.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has identified “a number of risks posed to bees” due to these toxins. As we reported earlier in the UK, DIY chains such as B&Q and Homebase have been removing products from their shelves which contain the harmful pesticides.
Author: Robert Smith