Beekeepers in 5 Bulgarian Cities Stage Protests
Beekeepers from five cities staged protests Wednesday against Bulgaria's decision to abstain from voting at the European Parliament on a ban on using neonicotinoid pesticides linked to the decline of bees.
The Wednesday rallies were held in Shumen, Varna, Silistra, Razgrad and Targovishte, with a new protest scheduled for April 22, the International Mother Earth Day, in Sofia, according to reports of the Bulgarian National Television (BNT).
At the beginning of 2013, the European Commission asked EU Member States to suspend for two years the use of neonicotinoid insecticides on sunflower, rapeseed, maize and cotton.
The proposal was triggered by a report of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which claimed that the use of neonicotinoid pesticides posed an unacceptable risk to bees.
However, the attempt to ban the use of neonicotinoids failed, as major countries like UK and Germany did not back the plan in a vote on March 15.
In 2012, a total of around 200 000 bees died in Bulgaria, against a total beekeeping capacity of over 1 million.
Environmentalists and farmers caution that the mass disappearance of honeybees poses a threat to the harvest and also endangers the very existence of nature and people on a global scale.