A French beekeeper has underlined the increasingly difficult living conditions of bees.
Raphael Calles – who heads the Association of Apiarists in Hautes-Pyrenees, a department in southwestern France – said the situation was getting worse due to attacks by the Asian giant hornet and the pollution of the environment.
Asian giant hornets kill and eat honey bees. The invasive species is widely considered an emerging threat to apiaries due to its capacity to destroy whole colonies.
Speaking at the Fete du Miel et de l’Abeille (Honey and Bee Festival) in the commune of Castelvieilh, Calles urged attendees to appreciate honey as a precious organic product.
The beekeeper association head cited the late French poet Antoine de Saint-Exupery as he pointed out that “we do not inherit the earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children.”
Calles told local newspaper La Depeche: “Honey bees are under threat.”
Leftist Assemblee Nationale delegate Sylvie Ferrer, meanwhile, criticised domestic and international agricultural enterprises over their excessive usage of neonicotinoids.
Neonicotinoids are insecticides that can – according to numerous studies – lead to the death of bees due to their impact on the insects’ neurotransmitters. The application of these substances in conventional farming has also been linked to phenomena like the honey-bee colony collapse disorder.
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Biotechnology enterprises have vehemently rejected such findings.
The sixth edition of the Castelvieilh Honey and Bee Festival featured several stalls run by local producers of honey and other apiary products, a varied entertainment programme and different workshops for children.