This piece from FOE is both good and disturbing and, for me, the loss of habitat is as bad as the pesticides. People do not understand that their own actions – putting a concrete drive at their house house, perhaps even getting an allotment, having a better pavement for the school walk, a new road to help congestion, a farmer turning a field from pasture to arable – all steal habitat from wildlife, plants and so insects and bees, then birds, then animals!
We have to change our thinking and then our way of life …
Why are the bees disappearing?
There are two key factors in the decline of bee populations: loss of habitat and the intensive use of pesticides. In the past 60 years, we’ve lost 97% of our wildflower meadows. Add to this the loss of much of our natural hedgerow and woodland thanks to modern farming methods, and you leave the bees without flowers to forage or safe nesting sites. Our bees are hungry, homeless and dying.
Then there’s the hotly debated issue of pesticides used in farming. In 2013, a two-year restriction was put on the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides by the EU, after they were found to present a high risk to bees. The pesticides industry has been fighting the ban ever since and, as a result, a growing number of studies have been carried out that show that these pesticides do harm bees.