Saturday, 27 November 2021

There are around 725 species of bees in Croatia – do you know why they are important?

Written by  Jun 18, 2020

Bees are important, we know that, but do you know why? The answers came from the Croatian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy today and you can read it in the text below.

Pollinators are a diverse group of animals, the most important of which are bees, hoverflies and butterflies. More than 2000 species of bees are known in Europe, and we find a particularly great diversity in the Mediterranean area, while mountain habitats are home to the largest number of endemic bee species. In addition to wild species, bee breeding communities are also of great importance for pollination today.

Based on the latest expert estimates, there are about 725 species of bees in Croatia, of which the most endangered species are bumblebees and solitary bees.

In the European Union, pollinators are necessary for the survival of 84 percent of agricultural species, and 76 percent of food production depends on insect pollination. In terms of agricultural production alone, the contribution of pollinators is estimated at 15 billion euros per year. According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), developed as part of a comprehensive analysis of pollinator status, pollinators carry out economic activities worth a total of 577 billion dollars. This analysis indicated that the diversity and abundance of wild bees and other pollinators are declining in many regions of the world, and that many species are endangered.

It is important to note that honey bees, species that have been domesticated by man, cannot replace the role that wild pollinators play in pollination, although they contribute to pollination.

Causes of endangerment of bees and other pollinators are the disappearance and fragmentation of habitats associated with changes in land use, then climate change and intensive agriculture. The European Parliament's resolution on the EU Pollinator Initiative, adopted last December, draws attention to the impact of pesticide use on domestic and wild bees, especially neonicotinoids, which have been shown to be harmful to bees.

The recently published European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 also highlights the importance of pollinators, and states stopping the recovery of their populations as one of the key objectives of ecosystem restoration, through a series of measures that should reduce pressure on their natural habitats. By encouraging sustainable agricultural practices, especially reducing the use of pesticides and retaining natural vegetation on a minimum of 10 percent of agricultural land, as well as planting native vegetation on urban and other anthropogenic green areas, we can contribute to the fight for the survival of bees and other important pollinators, as well as our survival.

Also, among the key commitments of the Strategy until 2030, the non-use of chemical pesticides on sensitive areas such as green urban areas of the EU and the reduction of the use of chemical pesticides by 50 percent were highlighted.

Also, the recently published European Union Strategy "From the field to the table" covers the issue of reducing the use and risk of pesticides and encourages the wider implementation of integrated pest management. This strategy will also improve the risk assessment of pesticides for the environment.

The set goals should synergistically contribute to improving the condition of populations of bees and other pollinators.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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