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Actions proposed to protect bees

Over 80 EU decision-makers, bee experts and keepers and other stakeholders gathered in the European Parliament in Brussels on 30 September and 1 October to discuss the challenges bees and other pollinators are facing in Europe and to propose actions.


Bees are important pollinators that provide vital ecosystem services to agricultural crops and plants and play a crucial role in our food production processes. However, many of their colonies are under threat worldwide, including in Europe, mainly as a result of parasites, pesticides, pathogens, poor nutrition linked to monoculture farming and habitat destruction.


During the two day conference – the fourth meeting of its kind - experts and policymakers made recommendations on how to address the challenges faced by bees and the sector as a whole.


The recommendations included a call to apply multiple strategies to help bees, for all actors to work together to develop indicators of their fallout, pesticide use to be reduced, diseases to be controlled jointly and for food to be made available to the insects. A specific call was also made to establish one bee focal point in the European Parliament for every EU member state, so as to help raise the issue by country, taking into account the different situations on the ground.


In a public information village just outside the Parliament, members of the public could discover the role bees play, interact with apicultures, taste honey and talk with some of the stakeholders on the type of actions needed to tackle the issue.


At UNEP’s stand, visitors could learn how bees and pollinators are affected by climate change and which Sustainable Development Goals are particularly relevant to protect the bees. Many of the bee experts and keepers said that the event had been a key occasion for them and that they felt to have been heard.


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