Bees raise yields in Serbian agriculture by €226 million or €556 per hive annually, according to an official estimate by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Despite the fact that bees are responsible for pollination of 80% of plants used for food, as many as 59 cities and municipalities pose a direct threat to their survival as they spray mosquitoes and ticks both from airplanes and from the ground, while 11 of them spray exclusively from the air, which is the worst way as it requires the use of a larger amount of pesticides.
This is evidenced by a survey by the Association of Beekeeping Organizations of Serbia (SPOS), created as part of the Public-Private Dialogue for Development project conducted by NALED in cooperation with the The Public Policy Secreteriat of the Republic of Serbia, with the support of USAID.
In order to abandon this harmful practice and educate farmers on the proper use of pesticides, an initiative was launched in early December to sign the Declaration on the Protection of Bees. By signing the declaration, local governments show that they recognize the problems that over 20,000 beekeepers are facing. Signatories are expected to introduce bee protection measures at the local level.
SPOS and NALED have also launched an online petition for all citizens who want to support the fight for bee conservation.
- An online petition is an indicator of how important the issue of bee protection is to citizens. We invite everyone to join us to prevent bees from becoming an endangered species in Serbia. There are cities where aerial spraying of mosquitoes has been reported up to 20 times a year, even in November when there are no mosquitoes, just to consume the purchased quantities of pesticides - says SPOS President Rodoljub Zivadinovic.
He states that SPOS will send proposals to better coordinate activities with farmers and actively monitor their implementation to the signatories. A map of municipalities that have abandoned the aerial spraying of mosquitoes and ticks and those that continue this harmful practice is under development. The map will be available in a digital format at www.jpd.rs and SPOS.
Among the first signatories of the declaration were 20 cities and municipalities in Vojvodina - Novi Knezevac, Backa Topola, Coka, Sombor, Alibunar, Backi Petrovac, Sid, Mali Idjos, Backa Palanka, Zrenjanin, Sremska Mitrovica, Pecinci, Senta, Vrbas, Kula, Irig, Subotica and Ada, Srbobran and Zitiste. The signing will continue with local governments from other parts of Serbia as well.
You can sign the Bee Protection in Serbia online petition HERE.