An emergency call to save bees has gone out from the European Parliament — to come to the rescue of the insect which is so vital for plant and animal survival.
As some two-thirds of Europe’s food production relies on pollination by bees, and hive numbers have fallen by 10-30 percent in recent years, MEPs felt the matter is urgent.
They passed a resolution that more must be spent on coordinated European Union research into ways to protect endangered bees. Few members in Strasbourg rejected the call. Hungarian Socialist Csaba Sándor Tabajdi is leading an initiative to increase the EU budget for beekeeping, saying the current €30 million is not enough for something that is so important for preserving biodiversity, agriculture and food security.
Tabajdi said: “The big companies are not interested enough in developing, researching news products, and there is a tolerance of and resistance to the present products. We are not able to fight against Varroa and other parasites, and we are not able to stop this disaster.”
Pharmaceutical companies need boosted incentives to develop bee medicines. The parliamentarians also said the European Commission must work on laws governing the use of pesticides.
The Commission said it will launch a bee-health monitoring programme early next year, into factors such as parasites, stress and viruses.