Bee population is dwindling. That, we know. Why is it happening? No one is 100% sure, but the main suspects are pesticides.
“Why should we care?” You ask. “Fewer bees, fewer stings,” you say.
Beekeeping provides pollination services and honey production. Many crops are dependent on honeybees for pollination. In the United States, bees provide pollination for more than 90 different crops, including fruits and vegetables.
So, no bees = no crops = no food. And of course that there are other implications, such as what insect would rule the skies, now that bees are gone?
So, to try and keep the bees alive, France has taken a drastic step.
France is on its way to becoming the first European country to ban five varieties of pesticides which researchers believe are the neonicotinoids that are killing the bees.
French farmers are not happy as they are now afraid their cops would be harmed by insects and pests. They are angry that no solutions have been given instead of the ones banned for use.
France has stepped one step further than the European Union which bans only three neonicotinoids. This French ban is forced not only in outdoor fields but also in greenhouses.
Britain at first, opposed this ban, but they are coming around after seeing real hard evidence supporting it. Britain is also suffering from whole bee colonies suddenly dying.
In the US, researches have also found that bees have been getting addicted to these harmful pesticides. These neonicotinoids are like nicotine to the brain. It’s been proven that these chemicals have been attacking insects’ central nervous systems and male bees’ sperm count, memory and navigation abilities.
Some angry French farmers don’t see any substantial evidence to connect pesticides with bee population decline. Even FNSEA, the biggest farming union in France, said that in places where no alternative can be found, the ban must be lifted. They also said that this ban will lead to unfair competition between French farmers and other European or worldwide farmers.
On the other hand, the French public health agency, ANSES, say that there are quite a few sustainable and efficient alternatives which are already operational throughout France.
We all hope this will be the beginning of a fight for better pest control.