The drastic decline of bees endanger the European ecosystem.
Almost two thirds of food consumed by Europe comes from plants pollinated by bees. What will happen if those bees disappeared? Maybe we don’t have to wait a long time to find out. In recent years the bee population in Europe has fallen dramatically. The phenomenon threatens the plant life and the ecosystem in Europe.
Therefore, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament voted on Thursday the 28th of October its first proposal to solve this alarming situation in beekeeping.
The parliamentary resolution contains five keys:
1. An action plan to help combat the high mortality in bee populations, including aid in pollination.
2. More funds for beekeeping.
3. Including a list of diseases in bees and veterinary treatments to reduce pests.
4. Improved statistical data.
5. Establishing a clear labeling of honey sold in Europe, including its origin and content.
6. Defining labeling rules and border controls.
Pollution, the main enemy
According to Slovenian Parliamentary of the PP group, Alojz Peterle, who was also president of the Beekeepers Association in his country, the most effective measure to combat the mortality of bees is to improve the environment: «Fewer and fewer bees are becoming less resistant due to environmental pollution,» said Peterle on the Agriculture Committee. He explained, «We don’t need only better veterinarian treatments, what we really need is to reduce the use of pesticides and biocides, making a much more responsible use of these products.»
The Luxembourg Parliament Astrid Lulling, rapporteur of the resolution, explained that «the European Commission will submit this year its communication on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) from 2013. From this point of view, it is necessary to ensure that aid beekeeping programs also have their place in the CAP after 2013».
Although the European Commission has approved programs in all Member States to improve production of bee products, increasing the annual contribution of 26 to 32 million euros until 2013.
For the President of the committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, the Italian Socialist Paolo De Castro, national programs have been effective but the growing phenomenon of bee mortality demand urgent actions and measures by strengthening the Common Agricultural Policy before 2013.
Aid should be focused on beekeepers and promote national research projects in order to discover new methods to control bee diseases.
During the past two years, some European regions have experienced a mortality rate of approximately eighty percent of their bees, while the normal rate is five percent. Also, the production of honey in Europe is at alarmingly low levels.