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What's killing bees?

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Agro-chemicals or lack of habitat - 01/6/2013

Everybody I’ve spoken to supports the EU ban on neonicotinoids and it has to be hoped that the two year period is long enough for the scientists to seriously study the effects of the chemical. If we have two years bad weather we may be none the wiser but the agro-chemical industry will claim it as proof that neonicotinoids are safe.

But also bees need wild flowers to flourish and since the last war 98% (which is about two million acres) of Britain’s wildflower meadowland has disappeared. Wild flowers feed bees because they still fulfil their ecological function which is to attract bees, feed them nectar and use them as pollinators. Garden flowers have been so heavily and selectively bred that they are no longer of any use to native bee species.

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. But we can all do our bit for bee wellbeing and Friends of the Earth are offering a helping hand. FoE has nominated the Year of the Bee and are giving out wildflower seeds Friends of the Earth website

Everybody has access to a small patch of ground somewhere but orchard owners have a special part to play. Do all the orchard areas have to be grazed? You could turn them in wild meadow areas and cut just once before cropping cider apples late in the year.



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