In response to the growing pressure facing European beekeepers, today the European Parliament approved a number of proposals that are hoped to help turn the apiculture sector around.
A common digital database for information exchange between beekeepers, breeding schemes for melliferous or polliniferous plants species and measures to deter alien species are among the measures put forward.
There are approximately 500,000 beekeepers in the EU. They are suffering from a drastic decline in the bee population. Wild and domestic bees are responsible for pollinating 84 percent of plant species and 76 percent of Europe’s food production. Their decline will affect agriculture, food production and security, biodiversity, environmental sustainability and ecosystems.
Likewise, beekeepers are being undercut by cheap imports of honey from outside of the EU obtained from dishonest methods and the mixing of adulterated honey.
GUE/NGL MEP Lidia Senra welcomed the measures approved:
“MEPs have collectively recognised the risks that threaten the survival of bees, pollinators and beekeeping. The European Commission and member states must now consider our proposals and take steps to implement them.”
The Galician MEP highlighted the specific proposals she has fought to include:
“We need to protect bees, wild pollinisers and European apiculture by banning dangerous active substances in pesticides, neonicotinoids are also systemic insecticides thus affecting bee populations. We must also deter the advance of invading species such as the asian hornet. “
“I hope to see increased legal protection and financial support for ecotypes and local populations of melliferous bees in the EU including the establishment of conservation areas for bees. Pilot-projects for bees and other pollinisers can help establish new indicators of environmental health and habitat.”
Furthermore, it is important that strict labelling of origin for honey is implemented to combat fraud,” Senra concluded.