Bees should be considered a common good and resource benefitting everyone, Source: Unsplash

EU proposes free movement for bees, to save them from extinction

EU proposes free movement for bees, to save them from extinction

For this purpose, special ecological corridors will be created for the pollinators to travel safely

There’s a new buzzword in the EU bureaucratic parlance and it’s “Buzz Lines” (excuse the pun). The intriguing term apparently refers to a network of eco-corridors, which will be set aside for bees so they can move safely all across Europe without obstacles.

It's all part of a seven-year plan laid out to increase insect monitoring across the 27 member states and to stop or even reverse their population decline by 2030. Currently, one in three bee and butterfly species is threatened with extinction. Pesticides, pollution and climate change are among the risk factors facing pollinating insects.

Tackling bees’ demographic decline

The EU Commission plan is actually a revision of a 2018 initiative that sought to improve knowledge and public awareness of pollinator decline. The new initiative aims to tackle the causes behind the pollinators’ decline in numbers. In that light, there are five pillars that will support the strategy:

  • Better conservation of species – this is where the so-called “Buzz Lines” will play the main role as an instrument of protection. The creation of these ecological corridors will have to be included in the spatial planning policies of all government levels.
  • Restoring habitats in agricultural landscapes – notably through more support for pollinator-friendly farming under the Common Agricultural Policy.
  • Mitigating the impact of pesticide use on pollinators - As the excessive use of pesticides is a key driver of pollinator loss, reducing the risk and use of pesticides as per the Commission's Sustainable Use of Pesticides proposal will be critical.
  • Enhancing pollinator habitats in urban areas.
  • Tackling the impacts on pollinators of climate change, invasive alien species and other threats such as biocides or light pollution.

Why are bees so important?

Pollinators are an integral part of healthy ecosystems. Without them, many plant species would decline and eventually disappear along with the organisms that depend on them, which would have serious ecological, social and economic implications.

With around 80% of crop and wild-flowering plants depending on animal pollination, pollinator loss is one of the largest threats to EU nature, human well-being and food security, as it compromises sustainable agricultural production.

Today's geopolitical context has further strengthened the need to make the European food system more resilient, including through protecting and restoring pollinating insects.



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