29 November 2010

Urgent call to save Europe's bees

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With 76% of food production and 84% of plant species dependent on pollination by bees, Parliament's resolution adopted on Thursday asks the Commission to do more to aid the beekeeping sector in the common agricultural policy (CAP) after 2013, by reviewing legislation, boosting funding and stepping up investment in research

Bee mortality is rising while the number of beekeepers in Europe is declining, all of which could have a serious impact on food production since most plants and crops are pollinated by bees. The European Parliament has issued a call for the EU to step up support to the beekeeping industry when the common agricultural policy is next revamped.

With 76% of food production and 84% of plant species dependent on pollination by bees, Parliament's resolution adopted on Thursday asks the Commission to do more to aid the beekeeping sector in the common agricultural policy (CAP) after 2013, by reviewing legislation, boosting funding and stepping up investment in research.

Paolo De Castro (S&D, IT), who tabled the resolution on behalf of the Agriculture Committee, said during Tuesday's debate "Difficult marketing conditions, price volatility and increased mortality are some of the critical factors" that put at risk the EU beekeeping sector. Astrid Lulling (EPP, LU), who contributed substantially to the drafting of the text, said: "Bees are important for the quality of our lives. Therefore a complex and global policy to ensure the EU has a sufficient number of bees and beekeepers and thus avoid depopulation is urgently needed".

Enhanced labelling rules and controls, further research on bee mortality and the inclusion of bee diseases in EU veterinary policy are among recommendations in the resolution.
 

(Agricoltura Italiana online)

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