Environmental Decision Good for Bees
A couple of years ago Bees came very much into prominence. Why because for the first time
Their very existence was being challenged and their incredible value to our environment was highlighted more than ever: It is thought by researchers that bees are responsible for pollinating around 1/3 of the crop production.
Their existence was being challenged by Neonicotinoids, chemicals applied to seeds as a coating prior to planting. This insecticide is then absorbed and distributed within the plant with the intention of controlling pests below or above the ground.
As a result the European Commission took action. They decided to ban three of these Neonicotinoids.
This was against a tide of considerable commercial pressure. Much of the Agrochemical industry warned of huge economic devastation as a result. Some reports claimed that the EU would lose billions in Euros as well as up to 50,000 jobs being lost. Yet this doom and gloom does not seem to have been borne out by the figures.
According to the Commission’s own crop monitoring reports, annual spring-sown crops (crops that previously would have used these Neonicotinoids) produced yields that were higher than the 5 year average.
This seems to show that the farmers can grow these crops without these chemicals. It also shows that sensible environmental decisions can prevail over pure commercial interest.