Cyprus Mail

A mission to save the bees and thus ourselves 

The island’s beekeepers are launching a year-long awareness campaign on the importance of pollinators for the survival of mankind and on their protection.

The campaign – organised by the beekeepers’ and professional beekeepers’ associations – is to be launched next week at the Limassol agriculture training centre. The campaign is also being supported by the agriculture ministry and the environment commissioner’s office.

A third of all world agricultural production depends on pollinator services, beekeepers say, while “one of the three fruit bites we take daily and the image of beautiful flowers in the fields is the result of pollinators (bees, butterflies, beetles and other insects).”

It is estimated that over 1,300 species of plants grow all over the world for food, pharmaceuticals, drinks, seasonings, spices and even clothing, the group said. “Of these, about 75 per cent are fertilised by insects that we call pollinators.”

Pollinators, they said, play a very important role in most of the products humans eat and consume.

The disappearance of the earth’s most important pollinators – bees – would have devastating effects on plant production and consequently, on mankind, they said. It is for that reason that biologists and producers have sounded the alarm, as bees and other pollinators protect entire ecosystems.

“Crops that need pollination grow at much slower rates than those that do not depend on pollinators,” they said. The reduction of pollinators means that flowering plants receive fewer visits from these insects, which reduces the production of important crops.

The group said that mass bee deaths occur throughout the year but mainly during the spring months of March to May.  This has prompted all relevant parties in Cyprus to join forces and organise a major information campaign.

The campaign aims at informing farmers but also the public on the importance of pollination, and how to protect bees, which are the most important pollinators.

The campaign will be officially launched next Saturday at the agriculture ministry’s district agriculture training centre in Limassol.

During the next 12 months, there will be information campaigns addressed to farmers on the use of pesticides non-toxic to bees and good agricultural practices, lectures, and training to sellers of pesticides and substances for plant protection.

There will also be a campaign to raise awareness among the public which will include school visits, lectures, and the publication of articles in the media.

For more information: Facebook/Παγκύπριος Σύνδεσμος Μελισσοκόμων – Κέντρο Μελισσοκομίας Κύπρου

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