Costs killing bees
Professional beekeepers say that 20,000 bee colonies have disappeared and that without state help, the situation will only get worse. The beekeepers say that the economy is the biggest threat to the necessary pollination of both agricultural crops and wild plants and are asking for support before the last major commercial beekeeper shuts down.
“It is no longer possible to make a living from beekeeping,” Lars H Ehrensvärd Jensen, the vice president of the professional beekeepers association, told Politiken newspaper.
“Since 2009, 20,000 Danish bee colonies have disappeared. According to official estimates, there are 150,000 colonies left and many people believe there are only half that number.”
Farmers in the southern part of the country may have to start relying on German bees to pollinate their fields.
The basis of the crisis lies in low honey prices, fierce competition and rising costs. The beekeepers say that the annual production of ,2000 tonnes of honey in Denmark is not enough to make a difference.
“The real social and economic importance of bees lies in pollination, where the agricultural value alone is estimated at over one billion kroner”, said Jensen. “Bees are also essential to ensuring biodiversity in nature.”
Commercial beekeepers are asking the government for 25 million kroner in annual support. The called it “peanuts” in comparison to what other agricultural sectors receive.