Euro-MPs Step Up Support for Healthy Honeybees

November 15, 2011 8:07 PM

Honey bee

Liberal Democrat Euro MP for the South West Sir Graham Watson today voted in favour of a co-ordinated EU strategy to secure a healthy honeybee population and tackle challenges in the beekeeping sector.

Recent increases in bee mortality and a declining number of beekeepers acrossEuropecould threaten food production and security, environmental sustainability and biodiversity if left unchecked. An estimated 84% of plant species and 76% of food production inEuropeare dependent on pollination by bees.

Highlighting the mutual dependency of beekeeping and biodiversity, Sir Graham has called for increased funding for honeybee-health related research, in particular in veterinary medical products, and better information sharing and training for beekeepers across the EU.

"The first step to tackle the problem ofEurope's disappearing bees is to start collecting reliable data and improve research into current bee health problems and provide incentives for the pharmaceutical industry to develop new medicines for bees.

"As such, we need co-ordinated action acrossEuropein the field of research, information sharing, veterinary treatment, and the recruitment and training of young beekeepers."