• Wanted: Billions of bees for Europe farms

    Date: 2019.01.16 | Category: 上海按摩服务 | Tags:

    Many European countries face a worrying lack of crop-pollinating honeybees, a problem caused mainly by an EU policy shift in favour of biofuels, scientists have warned.


    “Europe as a whole only has two-thirds of the honeybee colonies it needs, with a deficit of more than 13.4 million colonies – equivalent to around seven billion bees,” they said.

    Researchers at the University of Reading in southern England compared the number of beehives in 41 European countries with pollination demand from 2005 to 2010.

    They found that in 22 countries, honeybees were unable meet demand – with farmers increasingly having to rely on bumblebees and other wild insects.

    The situation was best in Turkey, Greece and the Balkans, where there was a strong tradition of beekeeping, and supply met at least 90 per cent of demand.

    It was worst in the former Soviet Baltic republics and in Britain, with less than 25 per cent, and in France and Germany, with 25 to 50 per cent.

    As a result, farmers relied increasingly on wild pollinators rather than domesticated honeybees, whose services they rent during pollination time.

    This growing dependence is worrying, given the fluctuations in wild insect populations and their vulnerability to intensive, mono-culture farming with few flowering plants to offer food or shelter, the study said.

    “We face a catastrophe in future years unless we act now,” said Simon Potts, who led the investigation.

    “Wild pollinators need greater protection. They are the unsung heroes of the countryside, providing a critical link in the food chain for humans and doing work for free.”

    According to a 2009 estimate, insect pollination contributes 153 billion euros ($A234.86 billion) to the global value of crops.