The plight of the bumblebee - EU takes action

MEPs call for urgent action to save Europe’s bees

Europe’s declining bee population will receive some good news tomorrow as MEPs are expected to vote through a resolution urging the European Commission to carry out extensive research into the problem and to take urgent action based on the findings.

The declining bee population will not only affect the usual products of beekeepers such as honey, but also a third of all the food we eat, including most fruit and vegetables, which is pollinated by bees.

While there isn’t complete consensus amongst scientists as to the exact causes, they all agree that the main culprits are:

  • Long distance transportation of bees
  • Use of some pesticides
  • Lack of genetic diversity - (monoculture)
  • GMs
  • Parasites
  • Climate and environmental change

Included in the resolution will be a proposal to set up small strips of ecological pollen and nectar-rich areas that could be created by farmers and in public parks, and also the introduction of buffer zones, for example beside roads.

Speaking before the vote Sir Robert said:

“Albert Einstein wasn’t lying when he said that if bees disappeared from the world then mankind would follow shortly after. If we continue to neglect the global bee population then this will have a dramatic effect on our already strained world food supplies.

“We must invest more into bee research to establish the exact causes of the shrinking bee population so that we can urgently put measures in place to combat the decline. A failure to act now could have catastrophic consequences.”

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