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Oswestry Liberal Democrats

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To bee or not to bee

November 26, 2010 10:20 AM

Regional Lib Dem Euro MP Liz Lynne is calling for continued EU support for the beekeeping industry which is threatened by high bee mortality and a declining number of beekeepers across Europe.

With many plant species dependent on pollination by bees, any threat to this important insect is not just about honey but also about food production more generally.

Concern has been growing in recent years as colony collapse disorder and other bee diseases have caused beekeepers in Shropshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and across many parts of northern Europe to report a dramatic decline in bee numbers.

Local MEP Liz Lynne and Euro MPs in the European Parliament have now called on the European Commission and EU Member States to step up the fight to save Europe's bees.

Commenting after a vote on the beekeeping situation, Liz Lynne said:

"The continued decline of the beekeeping sector is hugely worrying given our major interest in maintaining bees as pollinators.

"Our agriculture and biodiversity depends on these little insects and the Commission must now come forward with a strategy on how to tackle the problem. We need co-ordinated action across Europe in the field of research, information sharing, veterinary treatment, and the recruitment and training of young beekeepers."

MEPs also called for clearer labels for honey products, taking into account that 40% of the European honey market is dependent on imports.

Liz Lynne MEP added: "Enhancing labelling rules is essential for keeping our high quality European honey products competitive."