Demands pollinators strategy for Malta
Friends of the Earth Malta welcomes the recent announcement by the Ministry for the Environment as it embarks on an extensive valley restoration programme aimed at restoring ecosystems and planting species which are important for bees and other pollinators.
FoE Malta has been raising awareness on the importance of honey bees and pollinators, and how they play a vital role in the ecosystem through its BeeCause campaign. We are supporting natural beekeeping and small-scale local apiculture, organising the BeeAware course, a collection of lectures and practical sessions aimed at providing aspiring beekeepers and those interested to learn more about bees and pollinators with practical information, scientific background and knowledge from local beekeepers with years of experience.
We believe in supporting local apiculture and building a bigger community of beekeepers, because their work supports the survival of bee colonies in general, and the endemic bee species, Apis mellifera ruttneri, in particular. Bee numbers have been dwindling globally and are threatened by a number of causes; pests and diseases, lack of food sources, pesticides, climate change, habitat loss and changing farming practices. At the same time, we rely on bees for the pollination of our food sources: over 80% of crops and wild plants require the help of pollinators to reproduce and form fruit.
FoE Malta is proposing that government draws up a national strategy or action plan for bees and pollinators linked to biodiversity and climate change actions, food security and farming initiatives and rural and urban development plans. This is already available in other European countries including the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Wales, all Ireland, France and Norway.
Our lives would be poorer in many ways in a world without bees. We take bees and other pollinating creatures for granted at our peril. They are vital for a resilient, thriving natural environment and for stable, healthy food supplies including the varied, colourful and nutritious diets we have come to expect.