BERN, SWITZERLAND – Farmers who are trying to save the at-risk bee population in Switzerland received encouraging news Tuesday. The upper house of parliament Tuesday backed a motion by the lower house to develop a coordinated approach to help the bees, based on scientific evidence.
The motion does not includes an outright ban on pesticides and herbicides. The commission noted that some of these can be useful without necessarily causing harm to bees, and they should not be banned arbitrarily. Farmers have argued that such bans may result in the use of other harmful products, and they would like to see a well-coordinated programme to attack the problem.
Colony collapse disorder, CCD, continues to puzzle farmers and scientists, with a number of possible causes and risk factors put forward, as studies continue.
The Swiss Federal Council recently called for a tw0-year moratorium for three active ingredients used in pesticides sold by Syngenta and Bayer. The companies have gone to court over one of these, thiamethoxam, used to protect seeds and thus crop sizes. Syngenta has argued that the evidence is wrong, in studies showing a link between the widespread death of bees and the molecule used.