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To bee or not to bee

November 28, 2010 5:46 PM

South West Liberal Democrat MEP Graham Watson is calling for continued EU support for the beekeeping industry, which is threatened by high bee mortality and a declining number of beekeepers across Europe.

With many crop species dependent on pollination by bees, any threat to this important insect is not just about honey, but about food production more generally.

In a vote on Thursday (25 November), MEPs called on the European Commission and EU Member States to step up the fight for Europe's bees.

Graham commented on the beekeeping situation:

"Bees pollinate crops worth billions of pounds to the UK, so the continued decline of the beekeeping sector is hugely worrying to agricultural communities in the South West.

"Our agriculture and biodiversity depends on these insects and the Commission must now come forward with a strategy on how to tackle the problem. We need co-ordinated action across Europe in the field of research, information sharing, and the recruitment and training of young beekeepers."