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APICULTURE : MEPS CALL FOR EMERGENCY MEASURES TO FIGHT BEE MORTALITY.

"We must react without delay" to the serious health crisis affecting the bee sector: such is the message contained in a draft resolution by Astrid Lulling (EPP-ED, Luxembourg), adopted on 4 November by the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture, which will be subject to a vote during the plenary session scheduled from 18 to 20 November in Strasbourg.

The official report drawn up by MEPs is alarming. It points to a strong reduction in nectar and pollen resources due to the expansion of agriculture and the use of certain phytosanitary products, and greater vulnerability to parasites and diseases such as varroa due to nutritional imbalance. Vis-a-vis the strong reduction in the European beehive population, which is seriously threatening bee production and the pollination essential to numerous varieties of fruit and vegetables, MEPs are calling for the setting up - in the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy health check' - of measures aimed at promoting the creation of ecological compensation areas', such as bee set-asides, particularly in large areas of arable cultivation. MEPs also consider it necessary to develop research on the link between bee mortality and certain pesticides, such as thiamethoxan, imidacloprid, clothianidin and fipronil, coordinate information available to member states on this subject, and take "appropriate measures" if necessary.

Moreover, MEPs would like additional funds to be released to develop, as quickly as possible, research on parasites and pathologies which decimate bees.

Finally, they call for the introduction of country of origin' labelling and the requirement to analyse imported honey to detect the possible presence of bacilli from American foulbrood disease.

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Publication:Europe Environment
Date:Nov 13, 2008
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