France sows flowers to help honey bees
Nectar-bearing flowers will be planted along the sides of French roads to help the honey bee that has been struck by a mysterious ailment.Paris – France is to sow nectar-bearing flowers on the sides of roads in an experiment aimed at helping the honey bee, hit by an alarming worldwide decline, the ministry of sustainable development said on Tuesday.
More than 250 kilometres (155 miles) of roadside will be sown in the coming months, launching a three-year test that could be extended to the country's 12,000-kilometer (7,500-mile) network of non-toll roads, it said.
"More than 35 percent of our food is provided by pollinating insects, including bees. Protecting them also means ensuring our survival," Ecology Secretary Chantal Jouanno said.
Bee hives in parts of North America, Europe and Asia have been struck by a mysterious ailment dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
At normal times, bee communities naturally lose around five percent of their numbers. But in CCD, a third, a half -- sometimes even 90 percent -- of the insects can be wiped out.
The suspected culprits include a blood-sucking mite called varroa, a single-celled fungal parasite called Nosema cerenae that causes bee dysentery and pesticides used in fields that are pollinated by bees.
Other explanations include poor nutrition -- that mega farms, stripped of hedgerows and wild flowers, and spreading suburbs, with their concrete, roads and lawns, are depriving bees of a decent diet.
AFP / Expatica