Pro­tect­ing bees and res­i­dents alike

Costa Levante News - - NEWS -

By Joe Wick­man A LO­CAL gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tive has led to the ex­is­tence of more bees than peo­ple in Va­len­cia city, while com­plaints have de­creased by around 40%.

The use of plant-pro­tec­tion prod­ucts in sur­round­ing fields had in­creased the num­ber of bees that lived nearby and which would even­tu­ally make their way into the city. In or­der to tackle this is­sue, the gov­ern­ment in­stalled bee­hives in ar­eas where they would not be­come a nui­sance for res­i­dents, as well as nu­mer­ous other in- stal­la­tions around the city that at­tract the in­sects. Once the bees reach the lat­ter, ex­perts trans­fer them to the hives, thus en­sur­ing they stay in safe ar­eas for res­i­dents.

En­sur­ing the safety and co­ex­is­tence of in­sects and hu­mans in this way has led to the cu­ri­ous fact that there are an es­ti­mated 800,000 bees and 790,000 peo­ple liv­ing in the city. The hives are reg­u­larly vis­ited by stu­dents, asso­ciations and neigh­bour­hood groups who wish to learn more about them, and the honey ob­tained is rou- tinely given out to vis­i­tors or at lo­cal fairs.

Vi­cente Pradas, bee­keeper and one of the peo­ple who came up with the idea, ex­plains that ‘hu­mans can co­ex­ist with bees, be­cause if they don’t feel threat­ened, they aren’t ag­gres­sive. How­ever, when a hive is de­tected, it usu­ally sounds the alarm among the pop­u­la­tion.’ He added that ‘since we got this mea­sure up and run­ning, the num­ber of com­plaints re­gard­ing bee colonies has de­creased be­tween 30 and 50%’.

With this project, Va­len­cia joins cities such as Lon­don or Paris in recog­nis­ing ‘the en­vi­ron­men­tal value of these in­sects’, and has be­come the first Span­ish city to im­ple­ment this type of mea­sure. A man from Va­len­cia was sen­tenced to four years in prison late last week af­ter be­ing de­clared guilty of in­vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter. The in­ci­dent took place in Fe­bru­ary 2017, when the of­fender got into a heated dis­cus­sion with his part­ner. Dur­ing the ar­gu­ment, which oc­curred in the house where they both lived, at one point he grabbed and force­fully shook her. As a re­sult of his ac­tions, she fell down the build­ing’s stair­well and died from the im­pact. As well as the four-year prison sen­tence, the of­fender will have to pay both the woman’s daugh­ters €52,000 in com­pen­sa­tion, and he will also have to serve 60 days of com­mu­nity ser­vice.

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