If there are
no pollinating insects – and in particular bees – there
are no apples; well there is no anything very much.
So why is our government insisting on rejecting the science behind
the ban on neonicotinoids
insecticides? The answer is the massive power of the
agri-business lobby in both houses of parliament.
All of our native
bee species (which are our fruit pollinators –
along with hover flies) have suffered steep declines in population
and two have recently become extinct. The EU has imposed a two year
ban on the use of some neonicotinoids so that the collapse in bee
species can be examined.
arable producers (particularly of oil seed rape) say that not using
neonicotinoids will cost them 5% of their crop. Small price to pay
in my view: these guys are already receiving £1000 for every
10 acres they have in production from the British taxpayer (courtesy
of the EU CAP).
apple grower in Somerset has bee hives in their orchards and we
do at Somerset Cider Vinegar (and sell the honey
at local markets). There is no point in us trying to support bee
populations if chemical companies like Syngenta and Bayer are going
to contest the ban in the European courts supported by the government
and (very disappointingly) the NFU.