From neonics to parasites, pollinators are under assault. New methods of farming to preserve biodiversity may be needed

Of all the environmental issues we face, the fate of our bees seems to have resonated most with the public. In the UK visitors to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew are getting a dramatic insight into the importance of bees when they step inside a multi-sensory 17-metre high aluminium behive installation, which converts the vibrations emanating from a nearby bee colony into sound and LED light.

It’s not just honeybees that are causing concern - many wild bee populations are threatened; some have already disappeared.

Their decline raises serious questions about the sustainability of our agricultural systems and means we face some difficult - even moral - choices about how our food is produced.

Bees really do seem to be up against it: parasites, like the varroa mite, habitat loss, climate change and a relatively new type of chemical insecticide are all implicated in their decline. But separating out the various potential factors is difficult, and poses a challenge to policy makers.

Concern first focused on the blood-sucking varroa mite, which has spread from the east, right across the world - with the exception of Australia. The European honeybee is particularly vulnerable, as it lacks any natural defences. There are chemical treatments, but...

This content is premium content, and only accessible to subscribers. Please log in to view the content - or subscribe here.

For a free two week trial to Ethical Corporation, please click here.

Subscribe to read: Bee decline Briefing Part 2: No easy answers in battle to save bees

Login

Subscribe

Trial

Already a subscriber? Login using the fields below.

To get access to this content, become an Ethical Corporation subscriber today.

Subscribe and join the likes of:

Subscribe here

If you haven't done so already, you can take out a complimentary, no-obligation 2 week trial to Ethical Corporation's subscription services.

Sign up here

Please note: if you've previously taken advantage of the 2 week trial, you won't be able to sign up again.

Close popup
Environment  bees  biodiversity  climate change  honeybee  pollinators  research  Brexit  economy  Chemicals  sustainability  agriculture 

comments powered by Disqus