Group sounds alarm on EUROPEAN bee industry
Posted: April 28th, 2009 - 7:05am
BRUSSELS -- Europe’s beekeeping industry could be wiped out in less than a decade as bees fall victim to disease, insecticides and intensive farming, the international beekeeping body Apimondia said on Monday.
“With this level of mortality, European beekeepers can only survive another 8 to 10 years,” Gilles Ratia, the president of Apimondia, told Reuters.
“We have had big problems in southwest France for many years,” he said, but the problem had extended to Italy and Germany.
Last year, about 30 percent of Europe’s 13.6 million hives died, according to Apimondia figures. Losses reached 50 percent in Slovenia and as high as 80 percent in southwest Germany.
About 35 percent of European food crops rely on bees to pollinate them, Mr. Ratia said, and the deaths pose a big threat for farmers.