Wild-flower programme aims to bring back bees

Basel-based agrichemical concern Syngenta has launched a five-year programme designed to help farmers by bringing bees and other pollinating insects close to fields.

This content was published on July 15, 2009 - 09:53

"The number of pollinating insects has declined significantly across Europe in recent years because of loss of feeding sites and breeding areas," Jon Parr, head of Syngenta's crop protection division, said in a statement. "Our aim is to help reverse this trend."

The programme, called Operation Pollinator, hopes to create an additional 10,000 hectares of habitat for pollinating insects by providing farmers with seed mixes for wild plants favoured by such insects that can be spread around edges of fields. The company also recommends certain pesticides.

A company statement said the €1 million (SFr1.52 million) programme will help farmers in seven European countries, including Germany, Spain, France and Britain.

Operation Pollinator is based on the success of Operation Bumblebee in Britain. Within three years, this Syngenta project increased bee populations up to 600 and butterfly numbers increased 12-fold.

Corrected: in second last paragraph, please read Britain and not United States.

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