The Bees in Decline

The risks for agriculture in europe

The role of the bee

Bees and other pollinating insects play an essential role in ecosystems. A third of all our food depends on their pollination. A world without pollinators would be devastating for food production.

Who would pollinate all the crops? Hand-pollination is extremely labour-intensive, slow and expensive. The economic value of bees’ pollination work has been estimated around € 265 billion annually, worldwide. So, also from a purely economic point of view, it pays to protect the bees.

Insecticides killing bees

Insecticides in particular pose the most direct risk to pollinators. As their name indicates, these are chemicals designed to kill insects, and they are widely applied in the environment, mostly around cropland areas.

Although the relative role of insecticides in the global decline of pollinators remains poorly characterised, it is becoming increasingly evident that some insecticides, at concentrations applied routinely in the current chemical-intensive agriculture system, exert clear, negative effects on the health of pollinators – both individually and at the colony level. The observed, sub-lethal, low-dose effects of insecticides on bees are various and diverse.

What can we do?

Any progress in transforming the current destructive chemical-intensive agricultural system into an ecological farming system will have many associated benefits on other dimensions of the environment and on human food security.

In the short to medium term, there are specific issues that society can begin to address straight away, in order to benefit global pollinator health. The benefits could become evident almost immediately.

"Without insect pollination, about one third of the crops we eat would have to be pollinated by other means, or they would produce significantly less food."

− Greenpeace International

"While agriculture multinationals like Syngenta and Bayer care only about profits, their bee-killer pesticides put bees and other pollinators at risk. Without bees and their natural pollination global food production would be severely damaged."

− Marianne Künzle

Sign the petition

Help us save the bees

Add your voice to thousands of people around the world who want to protect the bees by banning bee-killing pesticides and unsustainable industrial agriculture and promoting ecological farming. The more people who sign, the more we can influence the governments and companies who can act to save the bees.



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Michael Schwabel has supported the bees