German beekeepers: 10% of land for biodiversity

Berlin, 12.06.2012 – As the link between the decline in bee populations and agriculture become increasingly clear, German beekeeping associations have published their position on the Common Agricultural Policy.

Photo credit: Tobias Kunze/Pixelio

As with many others, they have asked for direct payments for farmers to become linked to environmental measures. However, they go further than the proposals made by the EU Agriculture Commissioner Ciolos, requiring that farmers must use at least 10% of their agricultural land primarily for the promotion of biodiversity. The Commission’s proposals call for 7%. In addition, they ask that one crop should not make up more than 50% of the arable land in order to prevent the monocultures – a key problem for bees.

The beekeepers have also demanded a strong second pillar with more funds going to support environmental programs. For the health of bees and bee products, the quality of a diverse agriculture is essential. Bee colonies tend to graze at least 30 square kilometers of land. It is therefore likely that much of it will be used for agriculture.

Find the report in German here: Positionspapier der deutschen Imkerverbände zur Gemeinsamen Agrarpolitik 2014 – 2020