Berlin draws attention to plight of Europe’s bees

On the morning of January 16th, beekeepers came together in front of Angela Merkel’s office in Berlin to draw attention to the plight of bees. Bee populations are suffering as a result of the current agricultural policy: Above all monocultures and the associated extensive use of pesticides have a devastating effect on the health of bee colonies.  

Credit: Jakob Huber, Campact

The German protest was aimed at Agriculture Minister Aigner who so far has blocked EU proposals to bind ecological environmental regulations to direct payments for farmers. The action was supported by the campaign “Meine Landwirtschaft” and the campaign network “Campact”, and is the prelude to nationwide mass demonstration “Wir haben es satt!” taking place on Saturday 19th January.

Last week, Campact launched an online petition: Stoppt das Bienensterben (Stop bee deaths), which already has over 170,000 signatures.

The following day, the EFSA released a report identifying a number of risks posed to bees by three neonicotinoid insecticides. The report was issued following a request from the European Commission to conduct the investigation. Among other conclusions, the report suggests that only uses on crops not attractive to honey bees were considered acceptable. The findings are a huge and significant step forward in the fight to protect bee colonies.
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Credit: Jakob Huber, Campact