Angry bee keepers have blamed Britain’s rapidly decreasing population of honeybees on their own organisation. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent .
Sorry to quote the Torygraph, but we have been running a campaign in Europe, for two years and when the mainstream media occasionaly wakes upto reality, we pump it .
Beekeepers at war over funding from chemical companies
Angry bee keepers have blamed Britain’s rapidly decreasing population of honeybees on their own organisation. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
The British Bee Keepers’ Association (BBKA) has championed apiculture in the UK for 175 years and has 17,000 members.
But a group of former members claim the charity is taking money from chemical companies that are killing bees.
Bee numbers in the UK have dropped more than half over the last 20 years, twice as much as in the rest of Europe.
Phil Chandler, who left the BBKA last year and now runs his own website Biobees, blamed the use of certain pesticides for killing bees.
Despite this, he said the BBKA is accepting money from the main companies responsible for manufacturing pesticides.
He said the charity receives around £17,500 pounds-a-year as part of a 12-year-sponsorship deal with chemical companies Bayer Crop Sciences and Syngenta
“An organisation claiming to work on behalf on bees cannot be endorsing pesticides – it is very clear and straightforward. Pesticides kill bees, to pretend they do not have effect is ridiculous.
“A significant number of the membership does not know about this policy because it is buried in the small print.
“The BBKA will not write anything bad against pesticides because you do not bite the hand that feeds you.”
But Tim Lovett, president of the BBKA, said there was no conflict of interest.
He said beekeepers had to work with chemical companies to try and end the use of harmful pesticides.
“There is no doubt that pesticides kill bees and there is no such thing as a ‘safe’ pesticide," he said.
“But trying to push water uphill is not easy – it is better to direct it."
Dr Julian Little, spokesperson for Bayer Crop Science, said BBKA members have discussed the funding previously and members are happy with the situation.
He said the charity can spend the money how it wishes.
"We do support BBKA but there are absolutely no preconditions on that money," he said.
"We are very happy to support beekeepers in the UK and there is absolutely no evidence that insecticides are having any impact on bee health in the UK."
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Prof. Juergen Junginger, designer, Krefeld,
Prof. Dr. Juergen Rochlitz, chemist, former member of the Bundestag, Burgwald
Wolfram Esche, attorney, Cologne
Dr. Sigrid Müller, pharmacologist, Bremen
Prof. Rainer Roth, social scientist, Frankfurt
Eva Bulling-Schroeter, member of the Bundestag, Berlin
Prof. Dr. Anton Schneider, biologist, Neubeuern
Dr. Janis Schmelzer, historian, Berlin
Dr. Erika Abczynski, pediatrician, Dormagen