Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Bee Side

In the past few years there have been lots of news stories about the UK's declining bee numbers. Lots of stories but not many strong ideas about why they might be doing so badly.

Bees are essential for lots of things; including polinating farm crops. Unfortunately, several recent surveys seem to suggest that modern farming methods may be partly responsible for these lovely insects decline. Neonicotinoids are pesticides used in over 100 nations on both farms and in gardens. This widespread use could explain the drop in bee numbers as a UK team have found that the pesticides cause a 85% decrese in queen production, and less queens means less hives in the next year.

Pesticides are meant to remove insects harmful to crops and gardens, but in those countries that have seen a decline in bees there has been a marked decline in crop yeilds too. With natural pollination calculated to be worth around £430m to the national economy this may be one environmental issue George Osborne will pay attention to.

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