Simon Barnes writing in The Times believes that if bees die out, we’ll all feel the sting in the tail.
How right and sensible he is, for bees contribute greatly to our well-being, without which we will all feel the worse for it.
He begins his article: ‘The first bee of the year. In April – what a ridiculous spring this has been, she was flying from flower to flower, doing what bees do, feeding up on nectar and as she did so, transferring pollen from one flower to the next. Soon she will find a nesting site and start to rear the first generation of the year and will become a full-time egg-producer and carer as the colony grows. The colony will eventually produce males and new queens in the end; that will bring gravid over-wintering queens and the colonies of 2014.’
He maintains that two-thirds of the species of pollinating insects in this country are in decline; two hundred and fifty of them are in danger of UK extinction. We have fewer bees, fewer pollinators all round, because we keep killing them.
The environmental audit committee, which is made up of MPs formed from all parties, have just completed a four-month enquiry into the Neonicotinoid group of insecticides. Their conclusions are forthright and unduckable. They recommend a ban on three of the main poisons in the UK. They also recommend that this country supports a ban in Europe.
Conservation organisations such as Buglife, an NGO that supports invertebrates, have been lobbying for such a ban for years. This could be a breakthrough unless it gets buried under a mountain of entrenched values and vested interests.
Scientific studies have shown that Neonicotinoids harm honey bees, beetles, earthworms and birds, though the producers of these insecticides dispute these findings.
To summarise, I earnestly believe that we must look after the wild world in our midst before it is destroyed by chemicals used by man. Wild products are essential for our survival and for the pleasure and beauty it gives the countryside.
‘If we kill the pollinators we simply impoverish ourselves.’ These are the concluding words of Simon Barnes in his article, which makes a great deal of sense. On my part I raise my hat to him in total compliance.