UN alarmed at huge deline in bee numbers

Mar 10, 2011
The UN expressed alarm at a huge decline in bee colonies under a multiple onslaught of pests and pollution, urging an international effort to save the pollinators that are vital for food crops.

The UN on Thursday expressed alarm at a huge decline in bee colonies under a multiple onslaught of pests and pollution, urging an international effort to save the pollinators that are vital for food crops.

Much of the decline, ranging up to 85 percent in some areas, is taking place in the industralised northern hemisphere due to more than a dozen factors, according to a report by the UN's environmental agency.

They include pesticides, , a lethal parasite that only affects bee species in the northern hemisphere, mismanagement of the countryside, the loss of and a decline in in Europe.

"The way humanity manages or mismanages its nature-based assets, including , will in part define our collective future in the 21st century," said UNEP executive director Achim Steiner.

"The fact is that of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the world's food, over 70 are pollinated by bees," he added.

colony declines in recent years have reached 10 to 30 percent in Europe, 30 percent in the United States, up to 85 percent in Middle East, said scientist Peter Neumann, one of the authors of the first ever UN report on the issue.

But in South America, Africa and Australia there were no reports of high losses.

"It is a very complex issue. There are a lot of interactive factors and one country alone is not able to solve the problem, that's for sure. We need to have an international network, global approaches," added Neumann of the Swiss government's Bee Research Centre.

Some of the mechanisms behind the four decades old trend, which appears to have intensified in the late 1990s, are not understood. UNEP warned that the broad issue of countryside management and conservation was involved.

"The will get the headlines in this story," UNEP spokesman Nick Nuttall told journalists.

"But in a sense they are an indicator of the wider changes that are happening in the countryside but also urban environments, in terms of whether nature can continue to provide the services as it has been doing for thousands or millions of years in the face of acute environmental change," he added.

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User comments : 6

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Doug_Huffman
1 / 5 (1) Mar 10, 2011
Perhaps the UN-united-nations have come to grips with their Global Warming error, as this obvious correlation was not mentioned.
Alphakronik
not rated yet Mar 10, 2011
Or maybe they should work on making their sick bees better again.

UK Researchers announced what was killing them last year.

Failed article has failed.
J-n
5 / 5 (1) Mar 10, 2011
From what i've been made aware, we still do not know the cause of CCD (colony collapse disorder). If you have some additional information that i've missed please let me know :)

In the MANY years that scientists and bee keepers have known this problem exists, there are may possible reasons that have been floated for the reason as to this happening.

Climate change has not been suggested by anyone as the small temperature changes right now would not cause CCD in the way we are seeing it.

The fact that some people see the need to inject their opinions on Global Warming into every conversation just proves to me that they are unsure about their own opinions on the matter and hope for others to agree with them to validate their opinions.

astro_optics
not rated yet Mar 10, 2011
Is it coincidental that the introduction of lot of GM crops and also introduction of new/cheaper pesticides from China might have something to do with it...
Djincss
5 / 5 (2) Mar 12, 2011
It started to appear here in the Balkans too, and we dont have GM.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2011
Or maybe they should work on making their sick bees better again.
UK Researchers announced what was killing them last year.

Failed article has failed.

And you have failed to tell us what these UK researchers found as the cause. Have a link to the research? Only thing I found was a piece in the Guardian speaking of the impacts of industrialization of the pollination industry becomming a breeding ground for the various diseases, parasite, and fungi that are responsible for CCD.

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