The plight of the Honey Bee

Over the last two years there has been a massive, worldwide drop in bee numbers. In the UK, beekeepers report a one in three loss of bee colonies has occurred. It appears that we could be heading towards a global disappearance of honeybees. The consequences of this would be dire. It is estimated that one third of human food supplies depend on bee pollination.

What’s causing the deaths is unclear – there is a huge amount of research being done worldwide, and it’s likely that a number of factors may be implicated. One suspect is a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids. These were first used in agriculture in the mid 1990s – at exactly the time when mass bee disappearances started occurring. The evidence against these chemicals is strong enough that they have been suspended or banned in France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia – but not yet in the UK.

With so much concern over the collapse of our bee population do take a look at, as listed on the Soil Association website,which lists five ways to help the honey bee as well as a list of ‘Bee killers’ pesticide products contain neonicotinoids.

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