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Bee Population in Russia Is Getting Down

Bee Population in Russia Is Getting Down

The leader of the Russian beekeepers’ union, Arnold Butov, stated 20 areas had reported mass bee deaths.

The affected areas include Bryansk and Kursk, south of Moscow, and Saratov and Ulyanovsk on the Volga River.

Mr. Butov, quoted by Russian media, stated the crisis would possibly mean 20% less honey being harvested. Some officials blamed poorly regulated pesticide use.

Yulia Melano, on the rural inspection service Rosselkhoznadzor, complained that her company had lost most of its powers to manage pesticide use since 2011.

Russia produces nearly 100,000 tonnes of honey yearly. Mr. Arnold Butov said the union’s members were collecting data on bee losses, so that by 1 August a detailed report could be submitted to the Russian authorities.

Sunflowers and buckwheat are only two of the staple crops pollinated by bees in Russia. Orchards additionally depend on bees for pollination.

There is a risk that the bee deaths will push up not solely honey costs, but additionally those of different popular foods. The crisis has spread as far as the Altai area in Siberia, higher than 4,000km (2,485 miles) east of Moscow.

Decreasing bee populations have caused widespread alarm in Europe, with consultants blaming the crisis on a combination of things: weather change, pesticides – notably neonicotinoids – and varroa mites spreading in beehives.

In April 2018, the EU imposed an almost complete ban on neonicotinoids due to the harm they do to bees and different pollinators. Beekeepers in France raised the alarm again in June this year, reporting many severely hit bee colonies.