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חדשות מן העולם דצמבר 2014

נזקי שרקרקים בקפריסין

Cyprus requests EU aid for struggling beekeepers

By Timothy Maler

Published: 16 December 2014 09:44 AM

Cyprus has asked the European Commission for compensation due to “serious economic losses” to its beekeepers, caused by the “prolonged presence” of bee-eating migratory birds on the island.

Cyprus briefed agriculture ministers on its appeal for aid at the Farm Council yesterday (December 15), outlining that migratory birds transiting by Cyprus subsist mainly by feeding on bees, wasps and other insects caught in flight.

Significant damages in the beehives take place when the birds go to tropical Africa in autumn because of their longer stay in this season, said the Cypriot delegation. It argued that since the main bird responsible for the losses is protected by the Bern Convention and cannot be hunted, Cyprus should be compensated for their contribution to meeting the EU’s environmental standards.

A three-year research study by the University of Thessaloniki showed that all available methods for keeping bee-eaters away from apiaries have significant limitations and none of them is effective. The total economic loss to the industry is estimated at between €360 000 and €720 000 per year.

The Commission told Cyprus that it has options under its CAP Pillar Two (P2) rural development programme – but that it would look into the request for aid and respond at a later date.

Euro-Mediterranean conference

Meanwhile, at its last meeting as holder of the EU Council Presidency, Italy briefed farm ministers on the outcome of the Euro-Mediterranean conference on agriculture, which took place in Palermo late last month (November 27-28).

15 EU member states and 28 countries on total participated, adopting a declaration that highlights a number of important issues for the sustainable development of farming in the Mediterranean Basin.

The declaration stressed the need for “a generational change” in farming, as well as increasing investments in research and innovation.  Increased attention on the role of training, exchange of expertise and transfer of knowledge is also “essential to ensure proper development of the agricultural sector” in the Euro-Mediterranean area, participants agreed.

 צמצום שימוש בחומרי הדברה לציפוי זרעים בקנדה

 

Canadian beekeepers divided on neonicotinoid ban

By Andy Beer

Published: 16 December 2014 12:39 PM

Canadian beekeepers are divided on ways to address potential risks to bees from neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments, it has emerged.

The Canadian Honey Council (CHC), which represents 8 000 beekeepers, has reached agreement with the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA), to target a combined 24% reduction in pesticide use on maize and soyabean seed by 2016.

However, the Ontario Beekeepers Association (OBA) questions the move and supports a recent proposal by the Ontario government to seek an 80% reduction in the area planted with neonicotinoid insecticide-treated maize and soybeans by 2017, Agra Europe’s sister title Agrow reports.

Maize/soya use decline

A reduction in the application rate of seed-applied insecticides and the introduction of more fungicide-only options is expected to reduce Canadian pesticide use on maize seed by 15% and on soyabean seed by 9% in 2015, according to the CHC/CSTA initiative.

There would be a drop of 31% on maize and 18% on soyabeans by 2016, the organisations point out. That would significantly reduce the amount of seed-applied insecticides used in Ontario, which is the province with the largest acreage of maize and soyabeans, the parties added.

The CHC and the CSTA stress the importance of a collaborative approach in tackling risks to bees. "Both associations agreed to work together based on mutual respect and understanding and have just taken a significant non-regulatory step forward to ensuring a prosperous apiculture and agriculture industry in Ontario and across Canada," says CSTA president Dave Baute.

'Half measures'

The OBA welcomes the planned reduction in neonicotinoid insecticide usage but says that there are "too many unanswered questions" to support what it describes as "half measures". "

“Although this initiative shows that the current level is obviously unwarranted, where is the science showing that reducing application levels will mitigate the significant long-term effects of systemic pesticides on soil and water?" asked OBA president Tibor Szabo.

"Reducing the application rate doesn't change the fact that almost 100% of corn [maize] and 60% of soy are using treated seed prophylactically."

The OBA believes that the Ontario government's goal of an 80% reduction represents a "viable approach for protecting bees and other insects".

 

 

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