Wildfires in Sardinia likely to have killed 30 million bees

A beekeeper inspects a beehive board.
A beekeeper inspects a beehive board. Copyright JALAA MAREY / AFP
By Euronews
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The beehives on 20,000 hectares of land were destroyed by the fires.

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With bees responsible for 76 per cent of pollination of Europe's food crops, there's few species more vital to human survival.

But they have been very badly affected by Sardinia's July wildfires, which ravaged 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) and destroyed olive groves, forests, farms and vineyards. More than 1,500 people had to evacuate their homes, with many not yet able return home.

Beekeepers on the Italian island have said 500 beehives have been affected, amounting to 30 million bees. Environmentalists estimate the damage could amount to €1 billion.

The regional government is being urged to assess the damage in order to compensate farmers and breeders.

Agronomists and environmentalists believe it will take at least 15 years to rebuild the woodland areas destroyed by the fire.

How can you help?

A fundraising campaign, called 'Save the Queen', has been launched to help beekeepers. They are fundraising to repopulate the area with bees.

"With €10, those who take part in the campaign donate 3,000 bees; with €80, 24,000 bees will find a home," Columbu added.

Watch the video above for the full details.

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