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Lack of honeybees, crops production in many countries threatened

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In the study published in American magazine - PLoS ONE on the 8th of January, scientists of the Reading University located in southern England warned that many European countries will lack of the number of honeybees necessary to pollinate crops as the European Union (EU) switched over to a  policy which prioritizes using bioenergy.


When comparing the number of beehives with pollination-by-bee demands in 41 European countries in the period from 2005 to 2010, the researchers found that the number of honeybees can not meet the demand for pollination in 22 countries.

Among the studied countries, the situation in Turkey, Greece and the Balkan countries is more positive because these countries have a tradition of good beekeeping and they can meet 90% of pollination demand of color flowers.

Meanwhile, in the Baltic States, honey can only meet only 25% of pollination demand, the rate is 25%-50%  in France and Germany.

According to the study results, the demand for using honeybees to pollinate crops increased by 38% in the area where oilseed crops such as rapeseed, sunflower and soybean are planted. Meanwhile, the bee population increased  by only 7% over five-year period, from 22.5 million to 24.1 million swarms

The area of oilseed crops  was expanded in 2003 when the EU requires that the use of biological materials must account  for 5.75% of the total consumption of the material transport in 2010 and this area will continue to increase as the EU aims to increase the use of biofuels up to 10% in 2020.

Above situation makes farmers increasingly depend on wild pollination insects rather than on domesticated bees during term of pollination. This is worrying because the number of wild insects always varies.

Moreover, they are easily injuried due to intensive monoculture - few flowering plants  which provide food and habitat for insects.

Meanwhile,  breed of honeybee Apis mellifera just used to pollinate in Europe are  being affected by harmful insects and the use of pesticides.

According to estimates in 2009, the economic value that  insects pollinating crops offered  reaches 153 billion euros in total crop value throughout the world.

Source: khoahoc.com.vn

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 August 2014 02:40 )  

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