Honeybee shortage threatens crop pollination in Europe


In more than half of European countries, there are not enough honeybees to pollinate crops, according to new research.

Scientists believe that a boom in biofuels has sparked a massive increase in the need for pollination.

The shortage is particularly acute in Britain which has only a quarter of the honeybees required.

Researchers believe that wild pollinators including bumblebees and hoverflies are making up the shortfall.

The study is published in the journal Plos One.

Food for fuel

The number of honeybees in the UK and elsewhere has been in decline in recent years, with both pesticide use and disease being blamed for losses.

Written By: Matt McGrath
continue to source article at bbc.co.uk


  1. I am a hobby beekeeper with a few colonies in my back yard. There is a very small positive aspect to all this: the public has become very well aware of all the trouble with pollinators over much of the world dieing, and has actually become sympathetic to them, more interested in bees and much less afraid of them. The last few years my neighbors have begun to ask me, “How are your bees?’ Some of them actually ask to come in the back and look at my hives. This is new, and I am glad for it. I explain to them that I am in an island so to speak, with minimal amounts of agricultural pesticides being used in our residential suburb, and my honeybees are fine, thank you. As are the native pollinators, who are doing well on the wildflowers growing along the railroad tracks and in the public park. I know that the little guys like me are just a spit in the ocean compared to the worldwide trouble, but it’s something.

  2. Its actually rather frightening when you think about it. With reference to this topic I was ready to quote Albert Einstein “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live”. Then of course further research on the good old world wide web indicated that he probably never said it. A bit like James Cagney’s “Dirty rat” quote.

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