What s be­ing done?

Element - - Cover Story -

This range of is­sues re­quires a range of re­sponses. The New Zealand National Bee­keep­ers As­so­ci­a­tion is call­ing for a range of mea­sures, in­clud­ing ban­ning honey imports, re­view­ing in­sec­ti­cide use and en­cour­ag­ing bee-friendly ru­ral plant­ings. It also chal­lenged the Govern­ment to pro­duce a pol­li­na­tor se­cu­rity strat­egy, which it says is just as im­por­tant as New Zealand’s ex­ist­ing biose­cu­rity and bio­di­ver­sity strate­gies. The Green Party has al­ready backed some­thing sim­i­lar.

Mean­while, the war against var­roa mite may well be fought for us by an­other tiny crit­ter, the che­lifer. Look­ing like a tiny scor­pion, this crea­ture feeds on the mites, so sci­en­tists at Plant and Food Re­search are cur­rently in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether they can be suc­cess­fully in­tro­duced to bee­hives.

And the Fed­er­ated Farm­ers Bee In­dus­try Group Trees for Bees pro­gramme in­cludes brochures sug­gest­ing plant types to es­tab­lish through­out our farms and along ri­par­ian mar­gins in or­der to sup­port bee health.

World­wide, the United Na­tions has launched a five-year US$27 mil­lion Global Pol­li­na­tors Project to pro­tect key pol­li­na­tors for global food se­cu­rity and bio­di­ver­sity.

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