Bee Population Key to Protecting Biodiversity

Agrochemicals are a very real threat to the health of the bee population, according to experts.

In Europe, pollinating insects contribute to the agricultural production of 84 percent of crops. Recent declines in these pollinators, which include honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees, and hoverflies, are a rising issue for the future.

Recent movements have been taken to safeguard the bee population in Europe, many of which were presented by scientists at the STEP symposium of the 5th EurBee meeting held in Germany. Scientists brought forth their findings as to how to protect and preserve the bee population, maintaining food production and biodiversity in the process. "To help Europe secure sustainable food production and conserve its biodiversity we need to provide policy makers with clear evidence of who pollinates our crops and flowers and what are the best options to safeguard pollination services in a changing world," said Professor Simon Potts from the University of Reading, UK and coordinator of STEP.

Agrochemicals are a very real threat to the health of the bee population. The negative effects of pesticides are becoming more and more well known, so many countries in Europe have launched agri-environment programs that support biodiversity. Other steps are being taken to preserve the pollinator population in Europe, as well.

"One of the big achievements of the STEP project will be the first ever European Red List for bees, which will provide an essential tool for politicians and land managers to direct conservation efforts targeted at wild bees," said Stuart Roberts from the University of Reading.