Bees and pollution

Bees and pollution

Bees and pollution:data on the damage that humans are causing to bee colonies. The relationship between bees and pollination and information on the substances to be banned.

Loss of hives is a very frequent phenomenon. Our country has launched a moratorium on responsible insecticides and has been immediately followed by the European Union which is trying to obtain a change of course.

Bees and pollination

Bees and pollination form a unique and irreplaceable combination. In full nature, bees can perceive the scent of flowers up to 1.2 km away: this is why they are among the most important pollinating insects valuable for biodiversity.

A UN research has highlighted how the disappearance ofbeescan cause a drop in food production up to 90%.

Being able to perceive the presence of flowers up to over a kilometer away and, flying from flower to flower, the bees on the one hand they manage to get the nectar they eat and on the other hand fertilize flowers to produce seeds and fruit. In this way, the bees ensure the perpetuation of the species.

Bees and pollution

I told you that bees can perceive the scent of flowers up to 1200 meters away, unfortunately, due to thepollution, this capacity drops to 200 - 300 meters, and here is the first barrier that man has raised against natural pollination.

Every"Forager bee"manages to cover a collection area (we are talking about nectar collection) of over 3 kilometers. Passing from flower to flower, bees come into contact with a large number of pollutants becoming an authentic biological detector of pollution (biological indicators of environmental pollution). And here is the second barrier that man has raised against the health of bees.

ThebeesI'msensitive insectsthat feed on the nectar oftreated plants. Today, the food industry performstreatmentsfor preventive purposes only, they go to safeguard the crops but to undermine the health of all pollinating insects, primarily bees which are among the most sensitive.

Bees and the United States

Between 2005 and 2008, in the United States, the phenomenon labeled with the acronym CCD, i.e. Colony Collapse Disorder, in Italian, occurredBeehive Depopulation Syndrome. In 2007 this "syndrome" saw the disappearance of 40 hives per 100.

Worldwide, the disappearance of bees has reached "only" 20% even if in some industrialized regions of the globe the bee populations have halved. This "syndrome" actually has no other cause than thepollution.

The death of bees is not such a recent phenomenon, the first "alarm bells" began to ring in the seventies, due to a substance called DDT, which is harmful to humans, the environment and insects. This substance was banned in the United States in 1972 and six years later also in Italy. DDT has been replaced by neonicotinoids, a class of compounds derived from nicotine. These compounds are still widely used in agriculture today. Among the most widespread neonicotinoids is Imidacloprid. The crops are treated with very low doses of Imidacloprid so that if this product were to be consumed by humans with food, it would be considered harmless. Not so for the bees: imidacloprid has been identified as the primary cause of bee die-off.

According to Francesco Panella, president of the National Union of Italian Beekeepers Associations, only 1 gram of imidacloprid can cause damage to bees as much as 7 kg of DDT.

Fortunately, the European Union has introduced obligations regarding the use of neonicotinoids (including imidacloprid). According to the EU, these insecticides can no longer be used as on flowering crops but as pesticides on withered plants. If you are wondering how to protect bees, you can consider adopting a hive by starting a small farm; for more information I invite you to read my tips on howBreeding bees.

Principles of caution and protection of bees

Themotto "let's save the bees"it was also indirectly embraced by EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority. EFSA has set new principles of caution to lower the risk of substances used in agriculture and livestock. Every insecticidal product (or similar) launched on the market will have to pass new trials in order to prevent a priori environmental catastrophes. Given that the new trials are very strict, the industry will have more economic success by investing in products compatible with the environment and bee health.

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Video: Romes roofs abuzz with bees to control air pollution (August 2021).