The ban on the insecticide-soaked seed coating enforced by the Italian government last year seems to have worked wonders, judging from the freshest data collected on the ground by researchers, beekeepers and regional authorities alike.
Giacomo Michelatti, expert of the Piedmont Region in Italy, considers: “At this point of corn sowing this year you can more than reasonably say that there were no cases of widespread bee mortality in the apiaries surrounding maize crops, as we had seen again and again, worryingly, back in 2008. Yet, the honey producers’organisation “Aspromiele” has reported only one case of disappearance of an entire bee colony at Luserna San Giovanni in the
Moreno Greatti, from the University of Udine, states :“Over here in Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy’s North-East, Ed.) and in the other maize-growing areas in Northern Italy bee hives have not suffered depopulation and mortality coinciding with maize sowing this year. To this day, bee colonies are well populated by these precious insects. Beekeepers from
Although varroasis and other pathologies are found at other times of the year, the suspension of neurotoxic insecticides in seed coating has made the situation patently better.
Francesco Panella, President of the Italian Association of Beekepers, says: “On behalf of beegrowers working in a countryside dominated by maize crops, I wrote to the Minister of Agriculture to confirm the great news, for once: thanks to the suspension of the bee-killing seed coating, the hives in the Po Valley are flourishing again. We cannot underestimate that there are over one million hectares of maize crops, predominantly in