EU worried about declining bee population

Oct. 28, 2010 at 8:49 AM
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BRUSSELS, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Food production in the Europe community is in danger because bee mortality is up while the number of beekeepers is in decline, the European parliament warned.

Bees pollinate most of the plants and crops used in food production. Members of the European Parliament said they wanted to see more efforts to protect the beekeeping industry to ensure food security in the eurozone.

A draft resolution by members of parliament calls on the European Commission to support research that probes the declining bee population.

Researchers blame viral infections for an overall decline in bee populations, with colonies declining drastically in parts of the United Kingdom.

Members of parliament said the European Commission should extend certain agricultural programs that address bee populations as many such programs are set to expire in 2012.

Meanwhile, veterinary policies need modification so that scientists can better manage bee diseases, lawmakers said.

The European Parliament said 76 percent of food production and 84 percent of plant species are dependent on pollination by bees.

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