love honey We also! But did you also know how honey bees are doing in Europe? In fact, these little industrious insects are having a harder time and their product - honey - is becoming an increasingly valuable, rare commodity.
There have been fewer and fewer bees for the past 20 years. This is mainly due to the massive use of synthetic pesticides and insecticides, but also to the sharp decline in biodiversity. In France, bee mortality was already classified as alarming in the mid-1990s: the number of beekeepers fell by 40% from 2004 to 2012, the number of beehives by 20% and the annual yield by around 28%, resulting in annual losses of over 30% led.
Of course, the phenomenon knows no national borders and has also spread to other European countries as well as the USA and Canada.
The consequences are obvious: since many plants depend on pollination by insects (including bees) for their survival, the death of bees also causes the decline of these plants and this in turn has an impact on our food resources ... Bees are a reliable indicator of the state of our environment and thus also for environmental damage of all kinds.
According to Julien Bourrette, beekeeper from Languedoc-Roussillon and producer of the wonderful "Mes ruches" honeys, the new pesticides, called neonicotinoid insecticides, are a real catastrophe for the bees because they permanently attach themselves to the plants, as they are damaged by the circulating plant sap through the plant.
In combination with many other factors (genetically modified seeds, electromagnetic vibrations, pollution in general, climate change, the disappearance of various types of plants and flowers, viruses, parasites, fungal infestations ...), more and more bees are unable to cope with this great burden and this leads to massive bee deaths.
Accordingly, honey production in France has been declining since the 1990s: while, according to Julien, 32,000 tons of honey were still being produced in 1995, in 2009 it was only 18,000 tons and in 2014 only 10,000 tons.
Julien also does not see the situation as very rosy, but considers it positive that honey consumption in Europe remains stable and that this wonderful natural product continues to be valued for its health-promoting properties. He also notes that end consumers are becoming increasingly aware that honey is a valuable natural product that is subject to seasonal fluctuations and that - if it is obtained in a sustainable manner - also has its price. Through his nature-loving work, Julien sets an example for a rethink - so that we can still eat real honey from real bees in 50 years!