Decline of honey bees now a global phenomenon, says United Nations

By Michael McCarthy
The Independent

The mysterious collapse of honey-bee colonies is becoming a global phenomenon, scientists working for the United Nations have revealed.

Declines in managed bee colonies, seen increasingly in Europe and the US in the past decade, are also now being observed in China and Japan and there are the first signs of African collapses from Egypt, according to the report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The authors, who include some of the world’s leading honey-bee experts, issue a stark warning about the disappearance of bees, which are increasingly important as crop pollinators around the globe. Without profound changes to the way human beings manage the planet, they say, declines in pollinators needed to feed a growing global population are likely to continue. The scientists warn that a number of factors may now be coming together to hit bee colonies around the world, ranging from declines in flowering plants and the use of damaging insecticides, to the worldwide spread of pests and air pollution. They call for farmers and landowners to be offered incentives to restore pollinator-friendly habitats, including key flowering plants near crop-producing fields and stress that more care needs to be taken in the choice, timing and application of insecticides and other chemicals. While managed hives can be moved out of harm’s way, “wild populations (of pollinators) are completely vulnerable”, says the report.

“The way humanity manages or mismanages its nature-based assets, including pollinators, will in part define our collective future in the 21st century,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director.

Read full post at The Independent

7 responses to “Decline of honey bees now a global phenomenon, says United Nations

  1. Evidence is mounting, that a major contributor to the bee decline, is the use of GMO crops and this should definitely be included on the list as a potential cause of bee deaths. As I understand it, organic farming is relatively untouched by the bee crisis, I think. (For now, that is, until those crops are invariably contaminated via cross-pollination.)

    A quick google search will reveal a lot of info on the assumed connection between bee declines and GMO’s. Please take time to consider that possibility too.

  2. oops, Reply field already has someone’s name (Mermaid) and e-mail address showing!

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  4. Yes, Blondie, I was stupefied at first at the lack of mention of GMO’s until I remembered who was publishing the study. I think all factors are part of it, but the RR GMO’s are likely a huge factor in the CCD phenomenon. Bees kept in small operations and kept in organic areas seem to be avoiding the CCD. We’ve really scotched it this time alrighty.

  5. Bees have been stinging us for years! Ruining picnics! Forcing us to wear shoes when skipping through flower patches!
    Now the first time bees hit a rough patch they want to call a truce?
    I say, no! We’ve got ’em on the ropes, let’s keep on punching!

    • Well I for one have never been stung by a Bee, in fact no one that I know of has. I remember as a young child my mother caught me jumping on Bee’s in a clover field, she firmly but warmly stopped me. After explaining the importance and function of a Bee I was left feeling shameful. I was taught that the fear of Bees was fabricated, they are not aggressive, she said “Don’t bother the Bee’s and they won’t bother You.” Leave the bees alone!

  6. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » Food Freedom | Decentralize, Grow Your Own, Buy Local.

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