Bee hive collapse worries in Spain

Image of Met Office weather map. Credit: metoffice.gov.uk

The bee population is going down again and if it continues to descend it could provoke a decrease in many fruit and vegetable crops.

 

The crops at greatest risk are, among others, apples, kiwis, almonds, melons and peaches.

Greenpeace has calculated that the billing dependent on these insects is worth over €2,400 million annually in Spain.

In the last 20 years the rate of descent has gone from 8% per year to between 30 and 40% per year.

Incorrect pollination decreases the quantity and quality of crops and would influence over a third of the world’s food.

Spanish bees are in trouble and this puts crops in trouble, according to a report from Greenpeace which says that up to 70% could disappear in the next 10 years if immediate measures are not taken.

Ecologists and bee keepers are calling for the elimination of certain insecticides which are the main cause of their disappearance as they attack the bee’s nervous systems.

The report specifies 319 different types of insecticide which are provoking this natural disaster; these insecticides are ‘systemic’ which means they get into the sap of the plant and therefore reach the entirety of the plant.

When the bee lands on the flower to collect the pollen it picks up these chemicals and although they do not kill the bees immediately they do provoke a series of problems in the bee’s nervous system.

The bees become disorientated, they get lost and sometimes cannot find their way back to the hive, and when they do, they usually arrive with an extremely low body temperature which is what eventually kills them.

Although the EU is revising its list of insecticides with a view to eliminating some of them Greenpeace says this is not enough as it is a case of “too little, too late.”

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