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‘If you want to save the planet, keep bees’
May 4 2007
by Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail
WALES has seen a sharp drop in the number of wild bees.
The Welsh Beekeepers’ Association said a parasitic mite – called varroa – had virtually wiped out Wales’ wild bees.
But beekeepers in Wales are helping to sustain the ecological system by keeping hives of the insects.
The WBA now wants to persuade more people in Wales to help preserve the bee population by becoming beekeepers.
WBA secretary John Taylor, who met the UK’s chief inspector for bees yesterday in Llandeilo, said, “A lot of the wild bees – the feral bees – have died out.
“We had an invasion of a mite called varroa and that attaches itself to the bees and it eventually destroys them.
“Those that we have in our bee hives we are able to treat. But the wild colonies – and there were goodness knows how many in days gone by – have been virtually wiped out.
“The vast majority of honey bees you see now belong to beekeepers.”
He added that Albert Einstein once predicted that if bees were to become extinct mankind could only survive for four years.
Mr Taylor said, “People have looked at this and said that was not exactly true – they’ve estimated it would take seven years – but he was apparently along the right track.
“If you want to save the planet, become a beekeeper.”